Afghan Taliban Disparage Elections, Democracy: '[President] Ashraf Ghani Is Emphasizing On Democracy... As Though It Were Some Divine And Infallible System'

June 16, 2021

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On June 14, 2021, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) published an article expressing the Taliban's dismissive attitude toward elections and democracy. It should be noted that the Taliban's criticism of democracy comes as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been advocating that in any peace talks the Taliban must agree to participate in elections.

However, the Islamic Emirate, which is likely to hold talks with the U.S.-led international allies in Istanbul sometime soon, does not agree to the idea of elections as a means of attaining power. Its strategy is to seize power or to bargain power through the U.S.-mediated talks and change the system of government in Afghanistan in favor of a Sunni theocratic regime.[1]

U.S. Embassy statement of June 3, 2021, republished by the Islamic Emirate.

In the article, whose author was not identified, the Islamic Emirate disparaged the holding of elections in Afghanistan and accused the U.S. of manipulating the entire process to ensure the victory of its desired candidates. It asked: "How long will the flutes of a democracy that is insulting the great history of our nation continue to be played here?"[2]

Given below is the text of the statement:

"When... Years Of Preparation And The Use Of Force And Of The Media Had Taken Place, What Effect Can Re-Holding Of Elections Have?"

"Seven years ago today, in 2014, a drama called 'elections' was staged for the Kabul administration by their masters. One of the reasons for calling it a drama is that in a population of some 40 million people, there were more than twenty candidates. The second reason is that despite the relentless expenditure of wealth and power accumulated in the country's name, the result was that up to fifty percent of the vote was made no use of. It is important to mention here that the people were pressured to vote to such an extent that it was said that whoever does not take part in this election campaign will be deprived of Afghan citizenship.

"Since it is an incident that took place before my very own eyes, I remember vividly that the Kabul administration's agents used to stop people at [traffic] intersections by setting up roadblocks. They used to check their identity card and if the seal of entry for the election was not stamped, then without questioning the identity card holder, these barbarians would seek to snatch their very lives.

"At the same time, the government employed the media as a powerful tool. Election anthems were sung on the media day and night. It seemed as if these were not elections but angels for the liberation of the country who... would descend just as the vote is used and shower upon the country a rain of contentment. These tainted and enslaved faces were always the adornment of the media. Little else could be heard in talk shows and general news. The effort was to somehow affect the hearts. Big prizes were announced through the media. Those who were more active in the election campaign were celebrated but the result was that there was still less than 50 percent participation.

"Since these elections had no place under their own law, the decision was made to re-hold the elections [for the second-round of polling when a candidate does not get more than 50 percent votes]. This itself was nothing short of a drama. When months and years of preparation and the use of force and of the media had taken place, what effect can re-holding of elections have? Only two candidates who received slightly more votes than others were given the right to run in the re-elections while all others were excluded from the campaign.

"Ashraf Ghani's So-called Presidency And Abdullah's Being The Chief Executive [During First Term] Was Not The Result Of Any Election; It Was John Kerry's Order"

"In the first phase, Dr. Abdullah stood stronger than other candidates. In the second phase, however, Ashraf Ghani suddenly gained the upper hand, which was no less than a new form of drama. Dr. Abdullah became bitter and refused to accept Ashraf Ghani as president. At first, there was only verbal shelling, but when Abdullah saw that it was not going to work, he exposed the tanks hidden at the foot of a mountain and tried to show that a lot could take place through the use of force. Here, their American masters felt it necessary to step in. [The then U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry intervened and reconciled... them on June 3, 2014. It was reconciliation by name.

"In reality, it was the division of power, which can only be interpreted as meaning that two presidents began to exist in the same country at the same time. And then in a press conference outside, John Kerry said we saved the situation from a catastrophe. His press conference itself was reflection of the dramatic nature of the election campaign. It suggested that the election and its aftermath were nothing more than an exhibition and comedy show. The real owner and head here was the United States. Only that which this owner [U.S.] desired would take place. The rest of what is visible is simply a paper ship that passes through the air and changes direction.

"The above detail was necessary because on June 3, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan shared a post on its Facebook page mentioning the incident of seven years ago in which Dr. Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani were seen holding hands. Alongside, it was written, Historic Thursday! (note that 3 June was also a Thursday). You saw Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani agree to sit together through the efforts of former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

"This was commented on by various prominent Afghan social activists. The majority regarded this post as a disgrace for Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah. The reality too is that Ashraf Ghani's so-called presidency and Abdullah's being the chief executive [during the first term] was not the result of any election. It was John Kerry's order. Therefore, yes, it is truly disgraceful."

"Under The Name Of Democracy A Great Many Deceptions Have Taken Place And This Word Is Still Being Made Use Of Today"

"It has also become clear that under the name of democracy a great many deceptions have taken place and this word is still being made use of today. Even today, Ashraf Ghani is emphasizing on democracy everywhere and in every speech as though it were some divine and infallible system. It was said that democracy is our red line, we will not back down from it at any cost. Then Ashraf Ghani himself and his followers invite the Taliban to democracy as well.

"How shameless it is that employing the same bricks with which America laid the foundation of a failed democracy, it keeps its slaves subjugated and continuously degraded. But instead of freeing themselves, those slaves invite freemen to join them in their plight.

"When will their intellect awaken? When will these people stop deceiving the nation? When will they stop trampling on and humiliating Afghanistan whose people had always held a good reputation worldwide? How long will the flutes of a democracy that is insulting the great history of our nation continue to be played here? Its fortress is indeed being weakened as time progresses. The real face of democracy was already clear to the Afghans, but now the United States is also exposing it. This only makes the ugly face of democracy even more visible."


[2] (Afghanistan), June 14, 2021. The original English of the article has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

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