Exploring the Criteria for Inclusiveness

A local news station in Kabul interviewed the current Iranian ambassador, in which he cautiously hinted that the Taliban regime is not inclusive. The interviewer, with obvious impudence, replied,But there are people from other ethnic groups in this regime.” The ambassador mumbled for a few seconds and answered softly,They are appointed by the Taliban themselves.” The interviewer then rudely implied that those appointed people are all there is, and that only the Taliban decide who can represent which ethnic group, with no one else having a say.

The extent of censorship and the state of the press in Afghanistan is dire. There are journalists who shamelessly defend the oppressive and tyrannical regime in exchange for a month‘s salary, while their colleagues are jailed, tortured, and killed across the country. These people, who flatter the ruler, were plentiful in the previous government, but this journalist is a new version who is indifferent to the starvation, torture, and suffering of millions. What this socalled journalist was doing is not journalism, and it cannot be, as it is an affront to freedom of expression.

Why couldn‘t the Iranian ambassador say that the Taliban are an illegitimate regime that governs through violence and terrorism, and thus do not have the capacity to form an inclusive government? Perhaps the government he works for does not want to confront the Taliban, or maybe he does not know what an inclusive government looks like. How could he know, when the Iranian regime has never allowed the voices of dissidents to be heard and monopolized the political arena and decision-making?

Inclusiveness is not a difficult concept to understand, unlike the complex theory of quantum physics. People should feel included in the decisionmaking process. For this to happen, their voices must be heard through democratic institutions such as civil organizations and political parties. These institutions then strive to translate the voices of people from all walks of life into laws and put them into action. This simple mechanism ensures that people are more actively and constructively involved in politics, giving their opinion enough weight to be changed into law. Therefore, inclusiveness without democratic institutions is not possible, as is the case currently. Rumi summarizes this situation very well in the following poem:God has not created such a strange and ugly lion.

It is ridiculous to suggest that an inclusive government can be formed by a terrorist organization with no political background, which appoints some of its members from other ethnic groups. This is more of a joke than an actual inclusive government.