The Future of Afghanistan: Is It The Great Puzzle?
The current elections and the buzz around 2014 deadline of US for Afghanistan raised tensions of Afghan people more than ever before. Almost all my friends are approaching me in Facebook and Twitter for my viewpoints on the given topics.
Elections went to second round as I and many others predicted. I am sharing the reason why I thought it would happen so. Afghanistan is a country of minorities. No ethnic group compose above forty percent of its population. Tajiks and Pashtuns together can make a majority. But unification of either Pashtun or Tajik with another minor group namely Hazara or Uzbek cannot guarantee success in Elections. Also in the 2009 Presidential Elections no one could make fifty percent plus one votes in the final results. Basically Karzai was not the winner in the previous elections. In this Elections majority of Pashtuns stood behind Ashraf Ghani and Zalmai Rasoul. But with all that the combined votes of the two did not cross 42 percent also considering the 10% share of G. Dostum’s followers in it. Basically Pashtun voters compose around 30% to 33% of overall votes. As a matter of the fact, Dr. Abdullah collected the biggest number of votes in 2014 Elections coming up with thick percentage of 45% of all votes. This vote is basically centered on Tajiks composing around 30% of these votes and 14% of these votes came from Hazara voters.
What will happen in the run off?
Already big cash spenders and ex warlords like Ismail Khan, Ab Rasoul Sayyaf, Islamic Party (Hizb Islami)’s Mohammad Khan, Mohammad Mohaqeq and Atta Mohammad Noor- the lord of Mazar e Sharif, and the majority of Afghan MPs are in Abdullah’s team. This is the winners team undoubtedly. But, in Ashraf Ghani’s team you can rely on bank accounts of Ashraf Ghani and General Dostum – the two undisputed billionaires. Of course money is key in this elections. Printing pictures, buying votes and creating propagandas need money.
Both teams are propagating good and bad news against each other. But, the conservative approach of Abdullah would make him the winner, because he seeks no need in explanation. And only the urban educated Pashtuns and anti-Mojahiddin ex-activists may find Ashraf Ghani’s argumentation scholarly and excellent. But for the rest of voters all what Ashraf Ghani says and claims are taken as jokes. You can say it only after observing the great wave of anti-Ashraf Ghani campaigners in social media.
What will be different at the end of the run off on 14th June 2014?
Abdullah is the ultimate winner. He will get around 80 percent of votes in Tajik and Hazara Centric provinces. Because of Zalmai Rasoul and Karzai family’s support he will also earn around 40% to 50% votes in Kandahar also. Ghazni province’s votes will absolutely go to Dr. Abdullah because of Mohammad Khan’s presence as his first deputy.
Ashraf Ghani will get quite the same number of votes in Uzbek and Pashtun populated provinces in Except for Ghazni. The percentage of his votes may decrease or increase in the range of 5% because of the presence of Ahmad Zia Massoud – brother of Ahmad Shah Massoud.
What will happen after the Elections?
Abdullah is a truly conservative member of Jihadist Politicians in Afghanistan. His cabinet will be full of warlords especially from moderate fractions. He has a pow
erful team of experts and professionals educated in the West – the so-called 2nd generation of warlords as his back up to be used for the development of Afghanistan, but there is no guarantee for it. The situation will not get worse than now, but the insurgency will increase. This time he would have quite a strong opposition in the shape of Ashraf Ghani’s team. In 2015, the Parliamentary Elections will be the headline of televisions in Afghanistan watching which ethnic groups make bigger number of entries into the next Parliament.
But suppose Ashraf Ghani wins. The fight over leadership of the North Afghanistan between Tajiks and Uzbeks begins. The North will not remain silent. Under leadership of a mentally unstable President – Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai Afghanistan can witness chaos that has been never seen before. Also the master formula of Ashraf Ghani to divide and role will not work in favor of him this time.
Let me tell you that my dream of a democratic and secular Afghanistan will be fulfilled by neither Abdullah nor Ashraf Ghani. I consider both of them as populists who knows how to play with the nation. They both dream for Islamic form of governance referring to the recent speeches of both rivals.
And do not forget at the end. We are talking about Afghanistan. Anything can happen. We are a bad example of a wonderland.
By: A.J. Ahwar