De­volve power

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL - An­war Khalilzad Kabul, Afghanistan

The Afghan na­tion will elect a new pres­i­dent in a few days’ time. Al­though one hopes for a pres­i­dent who is sin­cere to the coun­try and its people, such hopes seem far-fetched if one keeps in mind the list of con­tenders for the post. It is ob­vi­ous that one of them is go­ing to the pres­i­den­tial palace and there is a great chance that it will be Dr. Ab­dul­lah Ab­dul­lah. The new pres­i­dent will have to deal with a host of is­sues. He is go­ing to face op­po­si­tion and crit­i­cism from a num­ber of quar­ters, es­pe­cially from those who lose the elec­tion, but he should re­main stead­fast in the face of dif­fi­cul­ties.

To rule Afghanistan is no easy job and the new pres­i­dent will have to take some dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions. I have a sug­ges­tion in this re­gard, al­though I fear it may be con­sid­ered pre-ma­ture at this stage. It is a fact that Afghanistan is di­vided along eth­nic lines and the di­vi­sions are deeply grooved in Afghan so­ci­ety. The coun­try can be bet­ter man­aged if it is made a fed­er­a­tion and the prov­inces are given max­i­mum au­ton­omy with the cen­tre hold­ing only a few im­por­tant sub­jects like fi­nance and de­fence. If the present state of af­fairs is al­lowed to con­tinue, the coun­try faces the prospect of dis­in­te­gra­tion. It is time the people of Afghanistan de­cided what’s best for them.

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