Taliban to Hold the Afghan Assembly: Will It Be Like a Real Council or a Misleading Scenario?

The Taliban has recently announced that it would summon the Great Council – also known as the Loya Jirga.

One of the problems of Afghan society is not using modern approaches to solve modern problems. The jirga is a tribal tradition, not an urban one. This mechanism has not existed in the civilizational eras of our region for at least the last thousand years, except for a limited period, and it has never worked out effectively to solve a complicated national level case but some very limited tribal cases in very remote areas of the country.

With the advent of modernity, from the time of Amanullah Khan onwards, the inefficiency of the jirgas became more apparent and it became clear that it was nothing but temporary relief for chronic pain. In the meantime, the jirgas that had a theatrical aspect and were held under the shadow of repression, in addition to failure, were also ridiculous. Jirgas are a political structure, with no roots in the history of this land.

Ignoring the role of Afghan citizens and imagining them as immature, which was common among both foreign and domestic political circles, is one of the fundamental mistakes in this process. At least today, and in the current circumstances, every citizen is aware of what is happening in the world every single moment and has access to everyone and every institution in the world, directly or indirectly. This radical change has made our situation quite different from the past.

The jirga can be an emergency solution for exceptional cases, not a stable mechanism for all seasons. Provided that the representatives are elected by the free vote of the people, from all ethnic groups and political tendencies, without the interference of the rulers and under international supervision, and do not feel the shadow of any threat on them. It is useless to hold any jirga in the absence of the people and without delegating their authority, and no matter what decision is being made; it will not bring about any change in the realities of the matter on the ground.

If the jirga is supposed to be held under the shadow of the Taliban, the only consequence will be to legitimize the group that has ruled the destiny of the people by force of arms. The message will be that any other armed group can occupy the capital through war and killing, and then gain legitimacy by gathering a number of pre-dictated and illiterate tribal representatives from the country corners who have no knowledge of the modern society and are usually being brought on the table either by force or by money. They usually approve the agenda, which is already being dictated to them. This irrational cycle can tie and lead the fate of several generations to violence and war for a long period of time, which will cost the country very expensive. Such a thing would prolong the crisis, intensify ethnic hostilities, escalate the war and delay the days of liberation from this miserable situation. Responding to the Taliban’s call under the whip of this group will be nothing but a bargain on the rights of the people and a service to a war group with a black and bloody background.

It is necessary for the United Nations, the countries of the region and the powers involved in the Afghan issues to find a fundamental way to resolve this crisis, rather than complicate it even further. The roadmap should be drawn up in consultation with all political groups, under the auspices of the UN Security Council and the competent representatives of the countries in the region. The Taliban can join the process if the group wants an end to the crisis. The process must begin with the demilitarization of Kabul and the formation of neutral administrations there, and the end with transparent general elections to form a national, decentralized and non-repressive government. A sensible way must be sought for legitimacy and stability.