Is it a joke? The answer is a vehement no. The Afghan election commission has said that the Taliban can contest for presidency in 2014 election. According to constitution of Afghanistan Presidentcannot contest for the third term; therefore new candidates will try their best to clinch the slot. Though government of Karzai has just reduced to the federal capital – Kabul – but still it is a lucrative slot. However, the recent announcement by the country’s election commission has rattled the liberals and progressive people across the globe. It is unfair to allow Taliban to participate in election for the country’s most influential and top slot.
What are Taliban? Taliban denote a militants’ outfit that has been actively fighting against the US-led coalition forces in the volatile country. Taliban had been in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The regime was toppled since the US invaded the country in October 2001 following the deadliest attacks of September on Pentagon and World Trade Center. People of Afghanistan label the Taliban regime as one of the cruelest in the country’s history. Women were not allowed to go to markets and even girls were banned to get education. The regime was recognized by only three countries in the world – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
It has been eleven years to the war against terrorists and militants linked to al-Qaeda and Taliban. It is unfortunate that the Afghan election commission announces amnesty for Taliban and allows them to contest for presidential election. Does it mean the terrorists and militants stands proved innocent? Or has the Afghan government accepted defeat at hands of the Taliban? The Afghan government will definitely term it a reconciliatory approach with the Taliban and try to tune down its impact.
However, the fact remains that if Taliban are to be allowed to participate in the presidential election, then what was the eleven years long war for? The Afghan government and the United States should seek public apology over killing of Taliban for the eleven years if they now stand proved innocent. Do Afghans want Taliban to come back into power? Not a single sensible Afghani will desire so rather the people of Afghanistan are pushing the government to hold fair, free and transparent elections in the country. The presidential elections are scheduled for April 5, 2014 and are seen by most of observers as one of the most crucial elections in history of the violence-wracked country.
The discerning observers opine the elections could either put the Afghan nation on the path of stability or plunge it into deeper turmoil. The US also plans to withdraw its 130,000 troops from the volatile country after the Afghan presidential election; so it all depends on outcome of the election. Afghan election commission should prepare itself to conduct free and transparent elections in the country rather appeasing the Taliban.