Politicians’ Confusion and Their “What Ifs”

By: Amin Kawa

Politicians in Afghanistan rarely practice selfcriticism. The majority of the political class tends to blame others for the country‘s political problems, particularly their predecessors. However, it is rational to look to the future and learn from the past when it comes to politics. A politician who is unable to plan and have a realistic analysis based on sociological values is not wise or opportunistic. Politicians should first consider their own actions rather than those of others. This is because thepolitical ifs of others cannot make up for their own foolish and irrational decisions. The fundamental issue with Afghan politicians is that they do not recognize exclusivity, supremacy, or selfaggrandizement, and they immediately criticize others. These politicians often claim that if their ancestors had not done what they did, the country would not be in its current state. However, the truth is that all politicians have a role in leading the country to its current political predicament. Therefore, before considering thepolitical ifs of others, one must understand their own. This will create a critical mindset in the intellectual base of politicians, reducing the current confusion and allowing them to assess and plan solutions for problems while looking for opportunities arising from immediate and rapid global developments.

Various political factions have distinct perspectives. If we examine the politicians who oppose centralism, they often assert that had the Bonn conference not been flawed, the current situation would be different. Had former president Hamid Karzai not engaged in corruption during the election, Ashraf Ghani would not have been victorious. Had Abdullah Abdullah been able to represent the people‘s votes, democracy would have been more secure. Had Ghani been sincere in the peace process and not removed the leaders, the Taliban would not have been able to gain power. Had Ghani not fled, the downfall would not have occurred.

On the other hand, technocrat nationalists believe that if Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani had not paid ransom to ethnic and political leaders or reduced their power and wealth, a centralized political government would have been established throughout the country. Additionally, some believe that if political and ethnic leaders had united in the elections and not sold political propaganda, accepted dollar packages, or sought ministry and embassies for their children, they would have had a significant influence in decisionmaking centers. Therefore, would the failure of democracy have resulted in Ashraf Ghani becoming president? This was not possible even with the dual pressure of the United States.

The United States of America was aware that with a small amount of pressure, it could persuade the politicians to align themselves with the individual they supported. Had the politicians not envisioned the United States as a world of peace in their minds, the current situation may have been different. As these politicians were not wise, creative, and proactive, they still lament this illness. There is no end to their political disarray with this type of politics. Thesewhat ifs are of great importance, but more essential are comprehending decisionmaking, sociology, political relations, identifying the underlying issue, and suggesting solutions. Politicians are so preoccupied with others that they have neglected the collective national interests and the maintenance of the republican system, as Amir Khan Motaqi, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban, has also bitterly criticized them. He stated that in the peace process, the politicians of the republic were not unified.

After twenty months, no unified strategy has been developed to combat the Taliban. Politicians are still vying to be the victor and outdo their opponents.

Politicians of the Republic must be cognizant of the fact that their policies over the past two decades have not been beneficial to all parties involved. Those in power and those seeking power have both failed, resulting in a loss of politics, power, and the country itself. As a result, all citizens are living as strangers both within and outside the country. We should not promote a culture of winners and losers, and we should not ignore society or waste opportunities. If the Taliban rivals fail to move forward and remain entrenched in the past, the situation will only worsen, as the past cannot be changed, but the future can still be affected by politics.

Consequently, it is important to be knowledgeable about the Taliban and the current state of affairs. Politicians should assess the current situation and contemplate the potential ramifications of the ongoing poverty and hunger crisis in the near future. They should be cognizant of the fact that if the current situation is not addressed, their opposition could have a significant impact on the nation and politics. Additionally, they should be aware of the potential for politics to become increasingly dire if people remain disengaged.