by: Dr. G. Rauf Roashan —
Abstract: Last week’s Berlin meeting of a group of warlords with an American law maker has stirred surprise and discussions on the interference of others in the affairs of Afghanistan. An interference that is illegal, dangerous and injurious to the cause of peace in Afghanistan that is till to rise from the ashes of a protracted war, misery, poverty and disease. She needs unity and compassion rather than encouragement for discord.
The greatest motto in peaceful coexistence and in international affairs is non-interference in the affairs of the sovereign countries. Here in the oldest and finest democracies of the world namely the United States, we believe that the destiny of the people should be determined by themselves. That is why the US constitution and founding fathers provided for the people to have a definitive role in their government by voting.
Now more recently we see an example of violation of this principle by a US law maker, Mr.Dana Rohrabacher a republican member of the House of Representatives from California who headed a small team of his like minded Americans to a meeting in Berlin to intervene in the affairs of Afghanistan. Rohrabacher, who showed interest in Afghan affairs for the past many years, this time secretly arranged for the meeting in Berlin to entertain a number of so-called Afghan leaders from Afghanistan’s northern, western and central parts with a discussion of their known ideas about breaking away from the legal and traditional Afghan system of central government that is in place according to the constitution of the country and opt for a federal system. Rohrabacher should know that the people he had gathered were warlords who in order to satisfy their thirst for power are blamed for the loss of thousands of lives and wide destruction of the country in the past thirty years. They all acquired millions of Dollars in the name of the needy Afghan nation while their countrymen were and are in want of food, health and education services and shelters. Some of them have regional affiliations with the avaricious neighbors of Afghanistan who they would like to use for their own nefarious purposes.
Now Mr. Rohrabacher decided to talk to this group that has no place in the hearts of the millions of ordinary Afghans about choosing a path of their liking and not of the people who were not represented in the Berlin meeting. Mr. Rohrabacher should have remembered the proud decision of the representative council of the thirteen colonies in America that decided on the writing of the Declaration of Independence from England while shouting against taxes levied by the King of England on Americans without representation. Was not that undertaking that led to the War of Independence and the creation of the United States of America not like a sacred national goal? Has Mr. Rohrabacher asked himself about where were the true representatives of the people of Afghanistan when he went to the Berlin meeting? Furthermore, did he ask himself the question of why would he, an American law maker, get involved in deciding for Afghanistan and whether his decisions would be liked or honored by the masses in Afghanistan?
The time of the colonial system when the fate of the colonized countries was decided by the colonial powers has passed. Today we know and the world at large knows that self determination is the loftiest principle in the decisions about the fate of the countries. Afghanistan has decided, under the watchful eyes of the US and the world, in its constitution the system of government it wanted and it is a democratic system based on honoring democratic principles which are very different from holding of meetings behind the backs of its people about their destinies.
Mr. Rohrabacher should also know because he is a man of experience that a federal system for Afghanistan would deteriorate the already troublesome political situations in south-central Asia where countries like Iran and Pakistan’s hegemony regarding Afghanistan complicate the issues further. Iranian government at present is no friend of the United States and is accused of resisting world demands for stopping its nuclear arms desires. Iran’s desire to influence and annex parts of Afghanistan and even the far away Tajikistan can be a dangerous issue. If Rohrabacher wants to give a foothold to Iran in Afghanistan, then his choice for the leaders who will do just that is an excellent one. However it reminds one of an old Kabuli saying of distributing bonuses to friends, but from the pocket of the master rather than yourself. This column has in the past detailed the impracticability of a federal system in Afghanistan and has stated that it would be injurious to the safety and prosperity of all ethnic groups in there. ( http://roashan.com, article on federalism)
Therefore the Berlin meeting does not deserve any merit because it is not representative of the Afghan people. It does not have a legal basis. At most it is a blatant exercise of puppeteering on the part of an American law maker and nothing more.1/14/12