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Mandela the Spirit of Peace and Forgiveness


Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former leader, Noble Prize winner and a world icon of peace and forgiveness passed away on Thursday; and his death profoundly saddened not only South Africans but the whole world. As South Africans began mourning his death, world leaders, celebrities, activists and ordinary citizens paid tributes to the deceased leader of South Africa who is known a pioneer in peaceful campaign for peace and prosperity.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in Prison before he became the first black South African president, led a peaceful resistance into victory against the white-minority rule in the country. The apartheid regime that as one of the most notorious regimes enforced black and white segregation was finally overthrown by Mandela’s peaceful resistance and replaced by a democratic state.

Mandela’s life and death and the nation he led to victory and peace has many things to learn from for all nations of the world. Afghanistan in particular needs to study Nelson Mandela’s ‘the long walk to freedom’ and embrace the spirit of peace, justice and no-violence campaign for freedom and prosperity.

South Africa, the country led to victory by Mandela’s peaceful campaign, is now a free nation and a model for other nations that are struggling for peace and freedom. And Mandela’s heritage is now shared by the entire world and all the nations. Here it would be relevant to narrate some aspects of Nelson Mandela’s peaceful campaign that could be embraced by Afghanistan in the difficult path ahead.

When leading South Africa into victory, Mandela forgave all his opponents and formers rulers of the country who put him behind bars for about three decades. His quote saying he would forgive them but could not forget became famous. His act of forgiveness not only weakened his government’s power but strengthened national solidarity among South Africans and interracial harmony between black and whites. The South African example of building a post-revolution nation is exactly what Afghanistan needs to learn from.

Afghanistan has experienced hatred and violence in its entire history. Sooner or later it needs to come up with the reality that it cannot emerge as a prosperous nation without embracing the spirit of humanity, peace and justice. In this course, Afghans must embrace and accept quality and justice and start to put its dark history behind. Only this would ensure that Afghanistan would one prevail violence, hatred and injustice that has drawn it back for many centuries.

At this time of crisis, Afghanistan needs to start dissipating culture of love and forgiveness rather than hatred and fear. Afghan youths should be familiarized with the global trend of humanity and democracy and echo the call of peace and no-violence coexistence of all ethnicities and groups in the country. Afghan politicians must ponder on what a legacy a human being as a politician and statesman could ever leave behind for his nation. They must commit themselves to emulating and practicing the model of no-hatred and peaceful campaign of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.

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