Four forces guide Afghanistan’s political destiny, who in order of their strength are Pashtuns, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek. Other being too small does not make an impact on the political canvass of the country. These four major tribes form the bulk of Afghanistan’s population, Hence they are de-facto maker and shaker of Afghanistan’s political destiny this ground reality has to be accepted by the world body while making proposal to articulate Afghanistan’s political structure. As such, the “basic need” a census to determine the relative population size of each ethnic group who are aspiring for Presidential power. Geo-political impact of neighbouring country having contiguous borders with Afghanistan also has to be taken into account.
Suggested solution has to be discussed with the Government of Pakistan and with the military authorities in Pakistan as they are the ones who are sacrificing their lives for a better Pakistan, a stable Afghanistan, for the stability of the region and for the safety and wellbeing of the world at large. No action is to be taken until these discussions have reached conclusive results and understanding.  
  • With the help and participation of Pakistan, USA to hold dialogue with the Taliban. Iran has to be inducted in this project.
  • The dialogue should aim at acquiring a consensus on modalities of framing a Government of Afghanistan.
  • Hold a Census in Afghanistan to ascertain population ratio and strength of various tribes of Afghanistan to help frame a national government.
  • Each tribe i.e., Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and others should separately hold their tribal jirga which should elect their representative for a joint committee, tasked to work out modalities for holding a Loi (grand) Jirga at the national level.
  • Individuals so elected by the National Jirga should form an interim government to frame the (a) constitution of Afghanistan.
  • In consultation with the Interim Government ISAF should announce a ceasefire. Keeping the date of withdrawal open for the National Government to decide. ISAF hpw will not involve itself in military operations thereafter.  
  • ISAF can then assume a supportive role to help the National Government to consolidate itself. Withdrawal date can then be discussed with the Incumbent Government at the helm of affairs at the time.
  • Northern Alliance as it stands today is already discredited in the eyes of the Afghan people. It is however indirectly represented in the new arrangement by inducting individual belonging to component tribes who form the Northern Alliance.
  • Representation in the new setup has to be based on the population ratio arrived at in the census
  • Results of the census and consensus arrived at the Grand Jirga will make the new government representative of all major tribes
  • This is a regional problem. Iran is a country having contiguous borders with Afghanistan and also has stakes in the game. She has sufficient clout over Hazara, Tajiks and possibly Uzbek tribes also, who are the main components of the Northern Alliance. Leaving Iran outside the ambit of the new arrangement may not be geo-politically desirable.
  • If withdrawal date is announced in advance Taliban may be encouraged to reject dialogue process considering they have acquired their objective and forming a government in Afghanistan is their earned right. ISAF and USA having accomplished their mission may leave after consultation with the new government.
  • Do not flood Afghanistan with large stocks of arms and ammunition on leaving the country. It will create the same problems we are facing today.
Brig Syed Raza Ali, is Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker. He was assigned the task by late General Ziaul Haq to roll back the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, which he did with lot of success. He was also involved in the making of Charlie’s War, a documentary on Afghan war.