2003 December 21 Sunday
Why Not Partition Afghanistan Along Tribal Lines?
The constitutional assembly meeting in Afghanistan to draw up a new constitution is split over the question of whether there should be a powerful central presidency. The Pashtuns, who make up approximately 47% to 50% of the total Afghan population, favor the central presidency because they expect to elect a Pashtun to occupy the office. The other ethnic groups oppose this proposal. Afghanistan is effectively split in half by the divide between Pashtuns and other ethnic and tribal groups.
"The voting was according to ethnicity," said Abdul Waqif Hakimi, a Kabul delegate and a Tajik, who lost the contest for chairman.
No one told Pashtuns to unite, insisted Muhammad Taher, a Pashtun who defeated Mr. Hakimi. "But if there is a tribe, and their culture is the same, they must be united."
On Thursday, a group of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks and Turkmen went to United Nations officials to complain about Pashtun domination.
Afghanistan is not naturally a country. The various ethnic groups within its borders speak different languages and have good reasons not to trust each other. It would be less trouble in the long run if Afghanistan was just split up with the Pashtuns getting their own country while the other groups either form a single country for a few separate countries. The other groups could even take pieces of Afghanistan and merge them with their ethnic brothers who speak the same languages and have much the same cultures in bordering northern countries.
The overall trend in the 20th century has been toward greater ethnic self-rule and the splintering of countries into smaller ethnically-based pieces. Attempts to swim against the tide of history tend to meet with failure unless backed up with a lot of resources and determination. There is no large force available to hold Afghanistan together and no overwhelming reason to want to do so. For analogous arguments applied to Iraq see my previous posts in favor of Iraq partition: Steve Sailer On The Iraq Partition Argument and Jim Hoagland: Sunnis In Iraq See Democracy As A Threat.
Update: The Power that Hamid Karzai wants for the Afghan President is very far reaching.
Under the draft, the president would have the power to appoint one-third of the upper house of parliament and dismiss and appoint judges. The president would appear to have ample ability to initiate laws by presidential decree and would be able to take some serious actions, such as declaring war, without legislative approval.
A Pashtun President would be able to appoint Pashtuns for one third of the upper house of Parliament in addition to the elected Pashtuns and therefore the Pashtuns would effectively control the Presidency and the upper house of Parliament. Incredible as it may sound, the Bush Administration supports this proposal.
So far rocket attacks have missed the loya jirga constitutional convention site.
Three rockets slammed into Kabul early Tuesday morning, but none landed near the jirga site or caused serious damage. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, told The Associated Press on Saturday he expects more attacks.
Perhaps the proposed strong presidency won't really matter in the long run. The authority of the central government currently does not extend much beyond the outskirts of Kabul. So Karzai can use the new constitution to set himself up as dictator of Kabul while warlords rule the rest of Afghanistan.
gov.and powers always dominited by majority.so,it should not be surprising in afghanistan.
On Sept 13, 2010 there was an article in Guardian.uk.com about De Facto Partition of Afghanistan proposed by Robert Blackwill who was the deputy national security adviser for strategic planning and presidential envoy to Iraq in under George Bush. He advised the Obama administration that their strategy in Afghanistan seems headed for failure. Given the alternatives, de facto partition of Afghanistan is the best policy option available to the United States. Under the comment section of this article there was an Afghan who welcomed Blackwill’s idea and at the end of his comment he writes “Long Live Blackwill” I am writing in response to this comment and all others who may agree to partition of Afghanistan.
My dear Afghan friend, you have looked at this in a very short sighted way. In the past 50 years the foreigners have created a political environment in Afghanistan in which ordinary Afghans are completely confused. We don’t really know which side to take. On one hand the Americans are invaders but they have brought some good things with them such as promoting democracy, promoting literacy, re-construction of the country and so on. On the other hand the Taliban for most parts are Afghans but they are not the people who should be governing a country. They are just a group of religious people who have no regards to any other aspect of human life. After the claps of Taliban most Afghans lied down their arms because there was no clear friend or foe, and in neither side of the conflict there was a definite cause to fight far. If the Afghan see someone dividing their country apart; once again the ordinary Afghans will pick up gun and will fight just like they fought against the Russians, against the British, against Alexander the Great and against the Mongols. Now only the extremists fight but in that case all Afghans will fight. Afghan will go to the north and to the west and fight against the people who facilitate their countries partition. The common Afghan man doesn’t fight now because he thinks the foreigners are there to help. Once that perception changes; the foreigners will see the real taste of Afghans fighting for liberation of his country. So far they have only seen a tiny little group of extremists fight against them. The extremists only fight for the religion but at that time it will the about the country’s National Unity and all Afghans will unit and fight. It will be about the integrity of Afghanistan as a United Independent Country. There will be cause and effect for fighting. Afghans from all over the world will gather in the North and fight. They will leave the south in peace and go to the north and liberate the north. Just like during the Russian war the Afghans will put their differences aside; this time too, they will forget who is fundamentalist and who is moderate. The unfortunate is that the fundamentalist will prove that they were right in recognizing the enemies of the country, they will be stronger again. In affect Blackwell’s theory empower the fundamentalist which has greater negative consequences for Afghanistan and for the region. Another point that Robert Blackwell does not notice is that there are roughly 20% to 30% Pashtoons in the north of Afghanistan. What is he doing with them? Is he letting them come to the south and let them be killed on the way to the south just like his insisters did to the Sikhs when they migrated from Lahore to Amritsar in 1945? Is he proposing to kill them all because they will definitely be against the partition and hence against the Americans? Or he is leaving them so that they make a separate country in another 100 years? The English forces have a history of divide and rule. It is history in repeat; a hundred and thirty years ago they occupied Afghanistan and then pulled back from half of it and left the other half with British India (which is Pakistan now). They are doing exactly the same thing now. Sir Mortimer Durand did the exact same thing in 1883 and now Robert Blackwell is proposing the same thing. Just like the Durand Line which did not make any sense the Blackwell Line is a self-interested, egotistical, egotistic, egocentric, egoistic, self-regarding, greedy, venal, mercenary and selfish Englishman desire to conquer the world (Divide and Conquer). Again he is not even dividing it along the ethnic lines. They leave parts of the Pashtoon land with the Tajiks so that they fight with each other over these disputed lands for centuries to come. The English forces have divided many countries but all of them still fight with each other because they left pockets of one ethnic group’s land with the other. We can see the evidence of it if we look at the Middle East and Far East map. They slashed parts of Iraq and created a country called Kuwait which resulted in 1991 golf war and subsequently the 2nd Golf War. They left parts of Iraq with Iran (Shat Ul Arab) which resulted in Iran – Iraq war in the 80’s killing millions of people. They took parts of Afghanistan and parts of India and created a country and called it Pakistan. From the date of its creation until today; Pakistan is in fight or in disagreement with both of its neighbors. Not only that, they left one part of Kashmir with India and other part with Pakistan over which the two counties are fighting for the past 65 years, they also created another country all the way on the other side of India and called it Eastern Pakistan – now Bangladesh. They could have just give the entire Kashmir to Pakistan because they were separating a country for the Muslims of India, so does it not make sense to give all of Kashmir to Pakistan since Kashmiris are Muslim? But they did not do that. The result is that India and Pakistan fought with each other for years. These country’s have spent most of their economical resources in buying weapons, defending their country, providing for injured and widows of war and on post war re-construction as a result they stayed under developed in academic, science, technology and in infrastructure. The westerners produce everything for us and we import them including their weapon which only brings death and destruction. Wars do not bring only death and destruction but it puts a huge impact on culture, education, individual personality, habits, manners, relationships and so on A ten-year war against Russia for example pushed Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. It is not only the infrastructure that gets destroyed. A war changes a country in every aspect. There was a time that the British were bringing the Indians and others to the west by force and by means of slavery but now as a result of wars in the east and being so much underdeveloped; the citizens of eastern countries voluntarily apply for immigration visa to the western countries and most of the time they end up cleaning washrooms, washing dishes, driving taxis and other physical jobs for the westerns. For example in Canada they need to add approximately 300,000 immigrants every year. If our countries are developed and prosper; we wouldn’t have gone to Canadian or American embassy and apply for immigration. They would have had to find other ways of bringing us to their countries, such as they did in 1800 century. But they have created a political and social condition in our countries that we voluntarily run away from our countries and apply for visa in western embassies. They no longer have to slave us or put us in chain or ship up here, in effect we are volunteer salves. Off course a volunteer salves in 21st century have some more rights and some more privilege; after all we are coming here voluntarily and therefore should not be discriminated like our insisters were.
History shows that all wars in Afghanistan have been followed by a civil war. That is because a war changes the underplaying structure of the society and people are put in fight with each over ethnicity, language or religion. You and I lived in Afghanistan for centuries without even realizing our differences but during the war in every step the BBC talked about language and ethnic background of Afghans. For example when Taraki choose Hafizula Amin as has dumpty president; BBC said Taraki and Amin are Pashtoon and Babrak Karmal is Tajik. They repeated this kind of analysis on a daily basis until it was taken and absorbed by the Afghans that there are two ethnic groups. But if you study the event leading to the departure of Babrak Karmal; it was only a political dispute between the group of Khalq and Parcham. My dear countrymen, the real beneficiaries of all wars are the supper powers who put us in war or divided us. They divided us intentionally in a way that we fight over disputed pieces of land for ever and ever. Robert Blackwell is clearly doing the same thing. For example most area’s of Kabul such us Char Asia, Baghman, Qalay Zaman Khan, Dah Sabz, Oat Khil, Tara Khil, Karte Naw, Bagrami, Sorobi, Niaz Baig and so on are Pashtoons and Robert Blackwell is proposing leaving them with the north. This will be an area just like Kashmir for which the north and the south will fight for decades. Not only there are pockets of Pashtoon and Tajiks all over Afghanistan but there are also provinces that are totally mixed such as Konduz, Ghazni, Kabul and Fara. Pashtoons and Tajiks are also mixed by marriages. There is seldom a family in Afghanistan in which there is no mixed marriage. For example my father is Pashtoon and my mother is Tajik. One of my sitters husband is Tajik and my other sisters husband is pashtoon. The result will be that my dad will take my mother to the south and my mother will never see her family again. My sister’s husband will take my sister to the north and we will never see her again. This kind of mix marriages are almost in every family in Afghanistan. Is this something you want my dear Afghan friend. You should know your friend and foe before saying “long live Blackwell”. Study more and you will see who brought the distraction and the war to Afghanistan. Who created and brought fundamentalism into Afghanistan in the 1960’s. Who created, financed and supported the extremist Gulbodin Hekmatiar, Rabani and Ahmad Shah Masoud to fight against the legitimate government of Mohamad Dawood. Who intentionally created a political environment to push the Russians into Afghanistan? Who created and supported the fundamentalist Mujahedeen and later divided them into 7 factions, and then further split them into groups of Tajik and Pashtoon. Who created and financed the Taliban. Who brought the Criminals like Dostom, Sayaf and Fahim into power? If you listen to Zbigniew Brzezinski in youtub.com who was the National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, he says that we induced the Russian invasion into Afghanistan. He said “We wanted to give them there Vietnam”. Read the “THE COLD WAR INTERNATIONAL HISTORY Projects form Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - The KGB in Afghanistan” and you will see who made the Russians invade Afghanistan. You will see how Russians refused to come to Afghanistan over and over again while repeated request were made by the Afghan government at the time. The Russians rejected to come to Afghanistan although the Afghan government at the time made repeated requests (some 24 times) however once they came; Brzezinski went to the border of Afghanistan and gathered the tribal leaders and told them “That land you see over there, is yours which is occupied by the Godless communists, one day you will go back to your homes and to your mosque” This video in available in YouTube and has been played by CNN and other media several times. This is the men who just came from United State after a discussion with the president to prolong the war as long as possible with Afghan blood. If you study you will see who wanted the Russians to come to Afghanistan. If you study the facts behind the 1978 claps of Dawood regime; you will see that the Khalq and Parcham codetta was an Afghan matter that could have been resolved within a couple of years if it wasn’t because of United Stat desire to bring the Russian to Afghanistan and to punished them by Afghan blood. If you study more about these events you will find out the real culprit of death and destruction in Afghanistan. Read about Charlie Wilson who was the fundraiser of Afghan-Russian war in US congress. He said that for them it was not important who fought against Russians. He said that they were giving weapon to anyone who could create anarchy and chaos in Afghanistan. He said that unlike the Russians in Vietnam; they did not have any future plan for Afghanistan. He said that the Russian had a future agenda and a future system for Vietnam and once the Americans were out, the government was replaced by the new system and hence there was no vacuum of power and therefore no civil war but we didn’t have any agenda for Afghanistan, we just wanted the to see the Russian bleed and bleed more by supporting anyone and any group who caused chaos in Afghanistan. He further added “we were ready to fight the Russian to the life of last Afghan citizen” So my dear Afghan friend, the Americans have already counted you, me, our parents and our siblings and our countrymen as collateral damage for their own cause. It was not even a cause; it was just bullying and to keep their pride preserved. Brzezinski said that mid way through the war in 1985, the Russians came to them and proposed to the Americans that they wanted to leave Afghanistan and asked them to co-operate with them in an exit strategy but Ronald Reagan said to his National Security Advisor, “Let them bleed and bleed more”. The American could have stopped the war right there and could have save millions of more death and destruction and hence the civil war but they continued until now but they didn’t. They are the one responsible for the claps of government system in Afghanistan, the destruction of Afghan National Army, the empowerment of fundamentalist and the claps of Afghan society as a whole. They are again welling to kill as many Afghan as possible because they want to show the world that America was not defeated. They are again welling to show the world at the cost of last Afghan life that they do not accept defeat. So my dear friend, instead of breaking our country into pieces; it is best for us to put our guns down and bring peace and security to our country and tell the foreigners out of our country as soon as possible.