Noor Rahman Liwal’s Open Letter & Recommendations To The International Muslim Scholars Conference On Peace And Stability In Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia
Anyone who takes a step towards peace in Afghanistan, is very valuable to us and we truly appreciate it. Be it just a word about peace, a bare foot long march of Afghans, a seminar or a conference Afghans strongly support it. And if the move of peace is influenced and supported by elites, scholars and a friendly country such as Saudi Arabia then it is even more appreciated and supported by Afghans. My stance is that the war in Afghanistan is benefiting outsiders at the miseries of Afghans.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, Saudi Arabia will host the Conference for Islamic Scholars from 57 countries that aims to bring peace in Afghanistan and put an end to 18 years of imposed war. Those benefiting from the war, will try their best to blame the conference being partial and not acceptable. Their biggest allegation will be that the meeting is under the influence of the United States, and Saudi Arabia is a coalition member of the West and is not impartial in Afghanistan. US and NATO may come up with even more reasons if the outcome of the conference is not favorable to them. It is said that religious scholars will evaluate the war from the Shariah Law point of view. We on behalf of the vulnerable people of Afghanistan have the following recommendations to make the outcome of this extremely important conference benefit both Afghans and the Islamic World. The Conference must first hear from the following four involved parties of the Afghan conflict and then only issue their statement. The four most important parties of the conflict are:
- The United States + NATO,
- The Imposed and unjust Kabul Regime,
- Armed Opposition or Taliban,
- On behalf of the people of Afghanistan; such intellectuals and politicians who are Afghans but not part of the above three fighting parties.
We urge the conference not to hurry in the issuance of their statement or any decision before the above four sides are provided ample opportunity to express themselves. If it is not possible in this conference, call another conference based on this gathering to ask and hear answers from all four sides for one question; how to end the war and bring peace to Afghanistan? If anyone of these four parties are not represented the conference should not reach any decision, and if they do make any decision, like the declarations of Makkah Al-Mukarramah’s Imam, the gathering of thousands Afghan Religions Scholars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia will be less effective. We warn that such decision might hurt the reputation of the Islamic Scholars, may not be acceptable to the people of Afghanistan, the parties of the conflict and may also make the Muslim Ummah suspicious of the scholar’s impartiality.
The conference must hear and understand from the above mentioned four parties the fundamental causes of Afghanistan's conflict which are as follows but not limited to:
1. The presence of the NATO and United States bases in Afghanistan and their legality needs a solution.
2. How to make sure the West’s imposed and unjust, corrupt government delivers justice and good governance to the Afghans?
3. Afghanistan's paid and all-volunteer military which Afghanistan cannot afford and is a burden on the Afghan nation needs a solution.
4. How to form an acceptable government in result of a free and fair election that can deliver justice?
Now, I will try to explain the top four main reasons which are contributing factors of the unending war in Afghanistan:
The presence of the NATO and United States bases in Afghanistan and their legality needs a solution
This could be a conspiracy theory, but most Afghans think that the war is kept in Afghanistan to make the Afghans believe that without the Western Bases Afghanistan cannot be governed by the Afghans and there could be a civil war. This drama made millions of Afghans martyrs, widows, orphans, displaced and forced them to live as migrants in neighboring, European and other western countries. The dilemma is that United States and NATO say their military boots will remain in Afghanistan until they stop suspecting that there could be a threat to their country from Afghanistan! On the other hand, the armed opposition says that they will continue fighting until no foreign soldier is present in Afghanistan. In an environment where the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are partners of the US and NATO collation, Pakistan is openly supporting, training and sanctuaring militants against US and NATO forces. This makes them a necessity for each other to continue the war and many Afghans think it is a planned hypocrisy.
The friendly country of Saudi Arabia has deep historical and religious ties with Afghanistan. Historically and presently, the enemies of the two countries are considered enemies of both, and to the most extent those friendly with Afghanistan also have good relationship with Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries were hosts or still are hosts to US military bases. But till this today we never heard that these bases bombed civilians in host countries or are sitting in the areas which are richest in natural deposits located in these host countries. Unless there is a legal and practical solution to this problem, peace cannot come to Afghanistan.
How to make sure the West’s imposed and unjust, corrupt government delivers justice and good governance to the Afghans
For 18 years a western imposed government is in place in Kabul where injustice, decrease of the government writ and lack of essential government services increases day by day. Warlords are leading the war and peace efforts, Afghanistan is at the top of the corruption index and more than 60% of Afghan population is living below the poverty line. Due to this, the government cannot fulfill the basic needs of the Afghan society and there is no governance in more than half of the country, innocent people are executed in warlord’s criminal courts. The government officials themselves scream and lack the will to govern by saying they cannot govern the country for six months without the foreign aid. Because of the weak and corrupt governance looting and the result of the destruction of the trillions worth natural resources are rampant by local, regional and international mafias, until there is injustice there will be no peace in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's paid and all-volunteer military which Afghanistan cannot afford and is a burden on Afghan nation needs a solution
In the last three decades, the highest recorded Afghanistan GDP per capita is only $630.00, according to the World Bank's estimate 7.6% of this GDP is government’s revenue, that is about $1.951 billion from about 40 million population. However, the Kabul government's expenditure budget for 2018 is $5.128 billion, there is a sparkling budget deficit of $3.212 billion. The large part of this budget is given to the warlords and their families under the name of advisors. The Afghan security forces expenditures are costing more than the Afghan government revenue. How can Afghanistan support a paid volunteer military? unless national conscription is called, there will be no peace in Afghanistan because many are benefiting from this war.
How to form an acceptable government in result of a free and fair election that can deliver justice, needs a solution
For several times unfair and rigged elections are contested and repeated over and over again. It is amusing and amazing! both the winners and losers accept that the elections were fraudulent and corrupt, it is because the elections are not Afghan owned and not an Afghan led process. Afghans believe that the US and West are preventing philanthropic and committed Afghans from even passing the free candidacy condition let alone contesting the election. The fraud in elections process is based on interference, intervention and influence from non-Afghans and the biggest player in this is the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), because they are not learning, this is not the first time, the second or the third, it is the fifth and the sixth time they repeat the same thoughtless mistakes and use 18th century old techniques which is paving way for corruption and fraud in elections. Afghanistan needs to have an accurate national census by means of modern technology and techniques with an Afghan led and owned election process so that a free and fair election for forming an acceptable government is conducted.
Noor Rahman Liwal
An Afghan Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, Computer Programmer, Owner of Multi-National Companies and Pashto TV, and Presidential Nominee 2014