Afghan Democracy Died

Afghan Democracy Died
The funeral to be announced in September

Afghanistan witnessed the second presidential elections under the US led illegal occupation. Major challenges are awaiting any new president in the war-torn country that has so many unremitting problems: Chronic government corruption, insecurity, unemployment, poverty, lack of practical development schemes, and others. Majority of the Afghans believe that it's not viable to have fair elections under foreign occupation, and the US led occupation is the problem, not the solution, as it failed to achieve any real change into people's lives under US-backed president Karzai. While the election authorities are preparing to publish the first partial results from last week’s presidential election, but the small sample of ten percent may do little to resolve a dispute over the outcome. The August 20th election was marred by fraud, intimidation, violence and low turnout in many areas. The Electoral Complaints Commission says it is looking into at least 250 allegations of misconduct.

There are consistent and credible reports from the south, the southeast, Balkh and Panjshir Provinces that tell a clear story. Massive and blatant ballot-stuffing; the removal or invalidation of votes for rival candidates; complete overhaul of ballot-boxes; intimidation of witnesses and Independent Election Commission staff; systematic removal of the publicly displayed tally-sheets. Local IEC representatives are informally releasing figures that bear no relationship to observations on the ground and that are beyond the absurd. Fraud in Afghanistan's presidential election have compromised as many as one in five ballots, a UN official warned today , compounding fears that ballot-stuffing, intimidation and other irregularities could have a decisive impact on the vote.

Afghanistan's presidential election has long been viewed by U.S. officials and its allies as a key to conferring legitimacy on the Afghan government, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful warlord allies have planned to commit large-scale electoral fraud that could have the opposite effect. Karzai has been laying the groundwork for just such a contingency for many months. By all accounts, he has forged political alliances with leading Afghan warlords who control informal militias and tribal networks in the provinces to carry out a vote fraud scheme accounting for a very large proportion of the votes. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has brought a notorious warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum who killed 3000 Taliban prisoner of war. He is an influential backer out of exile just ahead of Thursday's presidential vote – a sign that old-style kingmaking continues to play a powerful role even as the country tries to move to a more modern form of campaigning. Karzai chose another war criminal Muhammad Qasim Fahim , the ethnic Tajik warlord who had been vice-president and defence minister in his government until the 2004 elections, as his running mate. In return for their support, he promised Hazara warlords Haji Muhammad Moheqiq who also killed thousands of innocent pashtuns and Karim Khalili that new provinces would be carved out from largely Hazara districts in Ghazni and Wardak provinces, as reported by Richard Oppel of the New York Times.

Observers found rampant distribution of multiple voting cards. During the third phase of registration, at least four incidents of such abuses in 85 percent of the centres. The voter registration staff was seen handing out cards even before applicants had been registered. In one case, the observers saw about 500 voting cards being given to a single individual. Another element in the Karzai scheme involves the registration of women without their actually being physically present, often on the basis of lists of names given to the registration officials. The list system for registering women was found in 99 percent of registration stations in Paktika province and 90 percent of those in Zabul and Khost provinces.

The Afghan Independent Election Commission announced that more than 10 provinces have no security. Therefore it will be very difficult to operate voting stations in these provinces because of security threat. Currently there are military operations in 65 districts. The Afghan Interior Minister admitted that the elections will not be held in all the 34 Provinces in Afghanistan. It will be impossible for ordinary people to attend voting stations in more than 10 provinces because of the security situation on the ground.

As for Abdullah Abdullah he should sit in a dark room and think for a moment about his past. How on earth he accuses Hamid Karzai of rigging the election where his own supporters forced the voters with Gun point in Balkh Province to vote for him. He should also look at his past where he was part and the face of this corrupt regime for five years. He was the one defending this corrupt regime for years and made millions and filled his bank accounts.

Abdullah Abdullah should teach himself before he accuses others. He was part of the Northern Alliance led by the then war criminal Ahmad Shah Masood. His criminal gang who still occupy important positions was responsible for the killing of 56,000 innocent citizen of Kabul from 1992-1996. His past is very dark and bleak where his group (Northern Alliance) raped, tortured, abducted and murdered political rivals for the control of the capital city. Apart from killing the innocent citizens of Kabul his other victims during the four long years were from Hezb-e- Islami and its supporters and other Pashtun groups. His fighters, the so called Mujahideen (thieves) even stole pillows, mattresses and televisions set from the citizens of Kabul.

He is the man with little or no morality at all. I am sure there will be horse trading in the coming days and Abdullah Abdullah will surely sell his voters to be part of another disabled and corrupt regime and this time his justification and excuse will be the Afghan National Unity. He will not give any consideration to the feelings of his supporters and those who voted for him.

Afghans including presidential candidates, Political Analysts and other experts are complaining that last week’s elections were marred by serious fraud, in contrast to the international community’s assessment that voting was fair.

But to those closer to the process, the elections were characterised by widespread fraud, intimidation and violence, to the point that many are seriously questioned the legitimacy and credibility of the results and any future President and his government. For the west to come up with such conclusion that the elections were fair, are scared of their people back at homes. The most recent ABC/Washington Post poll held (13-17/08/09) found that more than 51 % American do not support their government in Afghanistan. Also recently the Independent UK based Newspaper poll revealed that 57% of the British people want their troops out of Afghanistan immediately. So Mr. Obama and the UK which is a tool for the US administration have to lie about the real situation in Afghanistan to deceive their masses back at homes by saying that progress have been made there.

So the Afghans voted but do not know for what they have voted for. I suspect if anyone in Afghanistan voted because of the policies of their favourite candidate. They purely voted for whoever their ethnic leaders told them to vote for. Hence Karzai asked Dostum to deliver him the Uzbek vote. Abdullah Abdullah relies on the Tajik vote, Karzai on the Pashtuns. Afghanistan is a more divided country now than it was before the election and once more the race card is played by imperial powers such as the US, UK, and NATO to divide the Afghans to make it easier for themselves to continue the illegal occupation. Any little hope of optimism and democracy which were there before the election is now gone with the wind and that hope and positivity have vanished permanently by the illegal occupiers of Afghanistan.

Democracy is dead in Afghanistan no matter how much oxygen is pumped by the US, UK and NATO into its mouth. Afghans and the friends of Afghanistan are invited to take part in the funeral of Democracy in September after the result of presidential election. May God bless the Afghan Democracy and rest it soul in peace in the hereafter.

Mohammad N Asif
Chair, Scottish Afghan Society
Exiled Afghan Journalist

Mohammad N Asif blogs at www.scottishexiles.blogspot.com