Monopoly of Power, the Cancer of Political Life in Afghanistan

In the most recent pronouncement attributed to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s Minister of Interior that made its way to the media, he voices his grievances about the dominance of power by associates of a particular Madrasa a religious institution.

He refrains from specifically mentioning this religious school, yet others argue that the affiliates of the Haqqani seminary in Pakistan make up half of the Taliban cabinet.

This seminary is infamous for its regressive thoughts, sectarian fanaticism, political brawls, and similar issues, and worst of all, associated with numerous bloodsheds in this region

The undeniable truth of the Afghan war and political scenario is that the Taliban is a group lacking capability and one that intensely monopolizes power. When such an assertion comes from one of the group’s senior leaders, it narrates the profound catastrophe this group has inflicted on Afghanistan.

The monopoly of power as a crisis instigator in Afghanistan is among the rare matters where all political factions find common ground, a topic they consistently discuss and express their dissatisfaction about. This spans from those in the Taliban’s ranks to the opposite end of the political spectrum.

The protest against this situation is not a recent development, as the power dynamic here has always been defective. Hence, conflicts and crises have been a persistent issue, and the path towards long-term stability remains unpaved.

The crucial takeaway from this harsh and convoluted experience is the need for a solution to this substantial menace. It is essential to explore how the cancer of monopolistic tendencies can be extricated and obliterated from Afghanistan’s political fabric, regardless of whether its hue is ethnic, partisan, religious, regional, or ideological. This task cannot be accomplished merely through complaints and grievances, nor through uproar and aggression.

The appropriate remedy for this chronic and contentious problem involves several foundational steps. Firstly, the phenomenon of power needs to be comprehended in a scientific and rational manner, followed by its demythologization, which is a prevalent practice in political philosophy.

Demystifying power entails peeling off the religious, cultural, and ideological sanctity layers from this phenomenon and perceiving it like any other societal phenomenon.

Secondly, a mechanism needs to be sought to restrain power and hinder its accumulation and concentration.

The higher the concentration of power, the more corrupting it becomes, affecting both the person wielding the power and the society under their control.

The separation and independence of the fundamental powers of the government, distribution of power among governmental bodies, social groups, and political parties, along with transparency and public oversight, are the only means to avert the emergence of despotism and centralism.

Thirdly, mechanisms need to be established for the public to participate in shaping their destiny, from the neighbourhood level up to the national level, thereby making people the custodians of power and obligating rulers to be accountable.

Beyond these points, we must remember that this issue also has a cultural dimension. The escape from the clutches of political monopolism is unachievable unless we abandon inappropriate authorizations at all levels, ranging from households to neighbourhoods, educational settings, workplaces, to organizational and institutional environments.

This is how democracy can firmly establish itself in a nation’s life, blocking the road to power monopoly forever. Voicing grievances about monopolism only gains significance when there emerges a determination to eradicate the roots of this political cancer. The soul of democracy and its fundamental core is the eradication of monopoly, despotism, and selfishness.”