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Ghani Using Democracy as the Basis for His Survival

Many political pundits in Afghanistan have come to the conclusion that President Ashraf Ghani has been using the call for a democratic system as a means of staying in power and using it as a deterrent to threats aimed at his political power. For him it does not make any difference whether his actions will lead to peace or further instability in the country.
According to critics, Ghani himself, with his widespread manipulations in two presidential and one parliamentary elections, dealt the most severe and irreparable blows to the principle of democracy, weakening it and discrediting it, and completely changing the people’s view of it. But now that the democratic system in the country is in danger and this danger includes his political power, he defends it and considers it crossing a red line.
Some members of the negotiating team have come to the conclusion that the taboo of the interim government is being broken and that talking about it can no longer be forbidden or dangerous. This is a fact that has overshadowed the whole peace process, and peace can never be attained unless Kabul is ready to accept this great sacrifice. According to some government negotiators with the Taliban, Ashraf Ghani is the first victim of any peace agreement and should not be persistent to maintain his rule.
Turkey is scheduled to host an international meeting in April to discuss peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The Istanbul Summit, described as a continuation of the Doha Process and perhaps the final stage of the process, is a moment of decision; a difficult moment that may mark another chapter in the country’s political history. However, at the end of the meeting, it is possible that the stalemate in the peace process will enter a more complex phase and that the transfer of political power, as in many other cases in the past, will be met with anger and bloodshed.
At present, there is no guarantee that the Istanbul Summit, according to the Washington Roadmap, will lead to the same goals as the Americans. The fact is that any peaceful solution to end the war in Afghanistan depends on the cooperation of the Arg; but in the current situation, there is no sign of retreat and flexibility of the Arg in this regard because the main demand of the ‘lord’ of the Arg is not peace; it is continuation of his power. This has been the factor that has always marked the transfer of power with blood in modern history of Afghanistan.
Ashraf Ghani has set the stage for early elections, which analysts say are a kind of restraint and sacrifice for peace, and has challenged the Taliban to accept the process which they have previously opposed. He knows that the Taliban are not in a position to accept election willingly. However, this option calls on the United States and other peace advocates with the Taliban to build peace through a democratic process that takes into account the direct role and participation of the people. Democracy should be revived and, on the other hand, the worrying doubts and questions about the revival of the Emirate and its terrible consequences should be completely removed.
Therefore, the situation is not in favor of the Arg, and if Ghani’s government fails to attend the Istanbul meeting with a political and national backing and fails to unify its positions to attend the meeting, it is possible that it will be rejected and isolated. In the best scenario for Ghani, persistence will result in either complete surrender or futile resistance using limited government resources and the national armed forces to defend Ashraf Ghani’s power. In the latter case, as Anthony Blinken’s letter to the president warned, the main actors are likely to use the Taliban to make the security situation so narrow and intolerable for the government that the government will eventually have no choice but to back down in favor of the plan. Such a peace will never be acceptable for the United States. The rise of militants to occupy urban centers and expand territorial gains by inflicting heavy casualties on security forces is one of the most predictable tools and facilities to achieve this goal. And, such a scenario can only lead to further civil war and chaos in the country, and it may take another decade or even more to reach at a position where it stands now. The need of the time is that the political leaders must rise above their self-centered interests.
(Sahar News)

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