Thursday, March 23, 2023

Fostering tolerance and trust can save Afghanistan 

By Imamudin Hamdard 

Who has heard the whistling sound of the rockets? Well, they rained down on my neighborhood, shattering my house’s windows as they hit everything around. I have witnessed entire families perish in the rubble as the explosion destroyed everything around them.

I was born during Afghanistan’s darkest era. I remember hearing mothers’ sobs when I was growing up when they lost their children and other loved ones! Russians and Americans both destroyed towns and villages with the sound of jets flying overhead and dropping bombs. The experience of seeing individuals lose everything—their homes, their families, and their means of support. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to forget. No human being can ever forget those horrors. I’ll never forget the day I witnessed the Kabul River flowing with blood. Every Afghan was waiting to see who would be hit next every day, every hour, and every minute. No one will ever forget those circumstances. The worst part is that I’m not the only one who saw these sad incidents.   

Nobody would ever forget how the Taliban forced a poor, blind man they had captured stealing a pair of shoes to sit atop a donkey. He was made to parade around the streets in shame with his face blackened and his shoes tied together and wrapped around his neck like a false necklace. Later, the same man had his hands cut off in the famous stadium known as Ghazi Stadium. If a man steals a loaf of bread to feed his children, no one in mankind will consider it to be a crime. Unfortunately, years of ignorance, prejudice, and a lack of acceptance of one another sparked all that injustice and violence. This circumstance has been passed on from one generation to the next. The disparity in human hatred grew wider with each succeeding generation, and it got worse over time.

Unquestionably, Afghanistan has never had leaders who were capable politicians. If so? They did not manage to take any action. It is funny how some people pledge to set the nation on the right path and create a utopia for the people, yet all they manage to do is make things worse. They pride themselves on being politicians, but their idealized past acts of bravery and patriotism will do nothing to help the nation to address their immediate problems. These power-grabbing politicians frequently discuss achieving and maintaining national unity. Sadly, they just congregate in caves like mice and discuss how to retake control. If someone were to ask them what their notion of national unity was, they would invent one that suited their purposes. 

However, our elite group, the so-called intellectuals, has become disoriented and their objectives have shifted. They no longer possess morals and are unable to distinguish between good and evil. They are only opportunists looking out for their own interests and are more concerned with meeting their own immediate needs. They support one group one day and another the next, switching sides. For instance, some of them supported the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, but as soon as the Taliban took power, they adopted other tactics. Even when they held positions of authority, some of them acted dishonestly and continually sought to undermine the system. They no longer care about helping the people; instead, their greed has consumed their minds and taken control of their actions. Being a politician should not be founded on materialistic ideals but rather on moral and ethical ones.

The lack of national unity is the reason why the people have suffered for so long. Afghanistan must be considered home for Afghans regardless of their ethnicity and religious affiliation. We wouldn’t be dealing with all of these problems now if any Afghan leader or politician had thought about equality, unity, fairness, and tolerance. I constantly wish that all of these things hadn’t happened, but they can’t be changed or undone. Tolerance and acceptance of one another—not with pretense, but with honesty and sincerity—are my recommendations for fostering national unity. The flimsy and double-dealing foundation we currently have must be eliminated to build a foundation of honesty and trust based on equality and understanding, which can only be accomplished with a new beginning. 

Every sincere thinker, in my opinion, takes a favorable and eager stance on this matter since it will benefit all Afghans. Because everyone desires justice and equality. The only thing that’s missing is our mutual trust and tolerance. Let’s establish this trust and work toward a better future, at the very least for our kids. It is the only option. It is not difficult.  

Note: The contents of the article are of sole responsibility of the author. Afghan Diaspora Network will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the article.

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