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Bringing Afghans to the centre-stage in the decision-making was a crucial pre-requisite.
The path to a reconstruction and democratic transition is obstructed by acute dilemmas and crucial challenges. Long-term political commitment to the process from both internal as well as international actors is imperative for a successful transition.
There is perhaps no magic formula to set the right course for Afghan transition. While foreign formulae may be denounced for being non-Afghan and imposed from outside, it must be kept in mind that there is no Afghan national consensus for Afghanistan’s future reconstruction and development priorities. While the Bonn Formula assumes that such an Afghan vision is reflected in their agreement, the fact remains that there is a huge, shifting kaleidoscope of differing expectations and regional aspirations, which has been shaped by the collective experience of twenty three years of intense conflict.
Building up a war-torn nation does not merely require scaling up of relief for physical reconstruction. To rebuild a war-torn nation, several diverse interconnected strategies are required - support for livelihoods, small communities, demobilized soldiers, women, people with disabilities, reinstating cultural heritage and structures, are vital to the assistance and reintegration of different war-affected groups. The kind of changes brought about by conflict needs to be identified and incorporated in any reconstruction strategy. Therefore, there is an acute need for reliable and up-to-date base-line data, a basic prerequisite for defining the needs and also for planning, designing and evaluating reconstruction efforts. Any effort at peace-building during this transitional phase will require the efficient tackling of spoilers like warlords, the Taleban and other irritants. People of Afghanistan need to take control effectively in order to contribute to the nation-building process and the international community and the regional powers have to assist them in the process.
Effort at peace-building in Afghanistan is a challenging task and the current efforts seem to be partial and lopsided. The project of establishing a new government as well as social reconstruction have been driven by the demand to create a political order that is compatible with the western global strategies.
To be continued...