By Farman Nawaz (Daily Outlook Afghanistan)
Criticism is the part of journalism and literature but when we come to pass judgment on history so we must not criticize history with having glasses of the present age on our eyes. While criticizing the events of the past we must match up to them with the ideals of that era. In the same way if we will compare the elections and democratic processes of third world countries with the standards of highly civilized European models, it will surely disappoint us. How it is possible that the system, which is developed in centuries in the west, will get stronger here in decades. Democratic process will take years to become transparent here in this part of the world.
Even before the Polling Day in Afghanistan, western media was pointing out the chances of fraud and corruption. On the polling day western media tried to concentrate on the issue of fake cards and removing of that special ink. Reporters were showing those cards and people who were trying to remove that ink to cast another vote. However, they were not telling the world that why these people are removing the ink. One side they pointed out that many polling centers are empty and people are not coming for casting their votes because of the fear of rigging the elections but on the other hand they were showing people with fake cards and removers. What does it mean? It simply implies that even after ten years the West is not able to provide jobs, strong institutions and security to the Afghans that is why poor people were selling their votes. They were not removing the ink to make their candidates successful but rather they did it to make their livelihood.
The western media must also tell the truth to the world how successful western forces are here in Afghanistan. It is impossible here at this stage that there will be free and fair elections in Afghanistan. How the people living side by side with bombs for decades, will make these elections as free as in the western societies. Free and fair elections are still not possible in Pakistan and India. How the Afghans can make this process transparent in less than ten years. Instead of criticizing Afghans, we must praise them for their participation in elections in the midst of terrorist attacks on the main cities and polling stations. Telling the stories of fraud will discourage Afghans to take part in elections next time. Afghans have already rejected Taliban and now making this electoral process ambiguous, will compel them to look towards some other options. And that other option should not be the division of Afghanistan for which hidden hands are working hard.
The western media highlighted the security threats by Taliban but it did not discuss the role of more than 140000 troops in Afghanistan. All these things are happening under the auspices of dominant western troops. All the institutions of Afghanistan came into being under the guidance of western powers. If today these institutions are not delivering any thing to the people, it is also the fault of the west. The west should also criticize their own role in Afghanistan. Billions of dollars are spent on these ventures but still Afghans are removing their inks to cast another vote. What does it means? What are the causes of slow turnout? It is because of fraud or because of militants, which are still at large. Taliban were even in broad day light terrifying people to forbid them from casting votes. Now where were those troops and how Taliban entered into settled areas?
Western media also pointed out the direct and indirect involvement of warlords in elections. It is very awkward. On one side west is engaging Taliban in dialogue and facilitating them to be part of the main stream politics but when some war lords are trying to get involved in politics it irritates the west. If the warlords of Taliban side are acceptable so why other warlords are targeted?
West is expressing its concerns about the funds provided to Pakistan for floods. At the same time west is expressing its concerns about the transparency in elections in Afghanistan. Actually the West wants to convince its people that these Asians are not trustworthy that’s why western troops are deployed in these regions. By this criticism basically they want to justify their presence in the region. Otherwise their criticism is not reasonable because realistically their methodology is not scientific. Our system will become transparent provided the west promises not to interfere in our matters. In Pakistan they supported dictatorship for decades and in Afghanistan they fought war against Russia. Now democracy and transparency will take time to be strengthened. Criticism will only weaken democracy.