With billions of dollars poured in from all sides without accountability after 9/11, the ‘American Dream’ of democracy, freedom, human rights and all the propaganda that comes with the western wars is slowly beginning to unravel in Afghanistan. After the announcement of preliminary election results in Afghanistan yesterday showing Ashraf Ghani leading by approximately a million votes (the number of votes initially estimated to be fraudulent), we are beginning to see Afghanistan more fragile and disunited than ever before. Despite evidence after evidence surfacing showing the fraud in action working in favor of Ashraf Ghani, the supposed leading presidential candidate has been defiant to date with his announcement today in saying he does not believe there has been any fraud in the Afghan elections.
Deep down inside, every Ashraf Ghani supporter knows that the fraud on their end is so phenomenal that the only way to go about saving the reputation of their imported leader is to hide their heads in the sand and keep repeating to themselves, and to the world, that ‘there is no fraud in Afghan elections’ until it becomes their self-fulfilling prophecy. A clearer definition of people with such beliefs is ‘delusional people’. Nevertheless, majority of Afghans are optimistic about the response to this industrial-scale fraud by the gathering of opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s supporters and making it clear to the country that they have had enough of corruption over the last thirteen years and least of all, any further tolerance of fraud in Afghanistan following the previous fraudulent elections in 2009.
In the first round of elections this year, we saw hundreds of tweets and pictures being shared on social media of the young playing elections games with each other, elderly and physically disadvantaged Afghans from all races ambitiously coming to polling stations with a drop of hope in their hearts for a prosperous future – some even being carried by their children and relatives to get to the polling stations – only to realize that all along, a dirty game was being played with their rights under the name of democracy. As announced by the Governor of Balkh province, people have lost faith and trust in the system now. The so-called Afghanistan’s “Independent” Elections Commission has become a center stage for political tools and anyone working in such institutions in any future elections would be under watchful eagle eyes and walking on landmines of criticism.
On a personal level, I never trusted the so-called democracy in Afghanistan which is the reason why I did not vote in the last three elections, even though I was working in Afghanistan during the two elections when Hamid Karzai was elected (fraudulently, yes). Moreover, I do not ever see myself trusting any leader who hardly has any history in Afghanistan, does not relate to the struggles of the people, and has a sense of entitlement to Afghanistan’s leadership. Some of my online and offline acquaintances who said they would not vote in the elections because they too did not believe in Afghanistan’s democracy later turned out to be the most stark, vocal supporters of Ashraf Ghani and proudly took pictures with their colored finger-tips during elections. Note to self: think twice before trusting any Ashraf Ghani voter I meet in future.
The director-general of Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies, Davood Moradian, spoke of ‘ethnic supremacy’ and ‘jihad dividend’ in his recent article published on Al Jazeera English website (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/07/afghanistan-beyond-ethnic-polit-201476102417401348.html). I could write a lot more in my response to this article but for the sake of this blog, I would leave both ethnicity and Afghanistan’s jihad aside and focus on our issues in hand today, which is corruption and fraud marring the election process and pushing the country to the edge. One thing I would mention, however, is that the jihadi leaders strike a chord far more to the grassroots than the one’s with not only ethnic supremacy complex but also have background records which are supposedly ‘clean’ – as in they never had any involvement in any wars – namely the foreign-instigated ‘civil war’ of the 1990’s which should, could, and would’ve been more appropriately termed as the start of Afghanistan’s ‘war on terror’.
What can be expected of the end-result of the elections in Afghanistan? A North and South Afghanistan as the solution? Given the strong belief of Ashraf Ghani supporters to a ‘Loy’ or ‘Greater’ Afghanistan, maybe it is time for Afghans to examine closely what really is the price they are willing to pay for peace.