Lack of a Viable Political Opposition in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been suffering from instability for a century, mainly because modern politics has not been institutionalized to change the course of power struggles from violent to peace. Moreover, in the political sphere of Afghanistan, competition is interpreted as enmity and criticism as a move to overthrow, which is intolerable, and this leaves no chance for peaceful opposition factions to form.

When there are no cohesive oppositions, the ruling apparatus usually turn to tyranny, corruption domain, and the violent opposition of the people causes it to fall. Similarly, when the system is not citizen-centric, the people do not feel secure under the umbrella of an autocratic ruler which in the long run results the people to overthrow such a system. Like it happened with the People’s Democratic Party. In periods such as the decade of democracy, the ruling regime tried to neutralize some of the protesting forces within the society by creating an orderly opposition, but this could not prevent the fall of the regime. During the Republic, the political leadership of the government feared the formation of an effective opposition and thwarted any political coalition that could lead to the emergence of the opposition with various tricks so that Afghanistan would never have a real and effective political opposition on the ground to question and make the ruling group accountable.

The absence of the opposition force is not only due to the lack of will in the political leadership of the ruling system, but also due to the weakness and incompetence of the political parties’ leaders that have claimed politics but have at times entered into small concessions and personal deals with the ruling system. Rather than being born of their true abilities and charisma, potential leaders are the offspring of politically motivated whirlwinds created by the rivalry of regional and global powers. Such leaders, who have been performing as the proxies, have appeared in the role of brokers whose work is a trivial trade-off. And unfortunately Afghanistan has a large collection of such leaders.

Now that the country is in the grip of a group without regional and international legitimacy who has been knocking and begging for gaining legitimacy for the past ten months, but have failed to gain the trust and pave the way for a legitimate government is the best opportunity to form a viable and effective opposition to change political equations for the benefit of the people. But helpless and miserable leaders seem unable to take the slightest step in this direction. Instead of thinking about the arrests, executions, discrimination, humiliation and other calamities that afflict the people, they only worry about their palaces and properties they have amassed through illegal means.

One of the fundamental steps to change the political culture in Afghanistan is to form a meaningful opposition that is the crystallization of the demands of different segments and groups of the people. Without it, war and killing will be the only option to change the situation, and the vicious cycle of intermittent systemic collapse will continue with the sacrifices it takes from the people.