Hates Pranab Mukherjee P Chidambaram

India: Death sentences against rapists

On the occasion of the handover of the post in Kunduz, Defense Minister de Maizière concluded his greeting “out of respect and affection for this country and its people” with a traditional “Afghan” narrative. It would be called, The old farmer and his three sons ‘. And it went like this: “Once upon a time there was a farmer who had three sons. When he died, he had his three sons come to him and said: I have a treasure for you. He is in the field. Whoever finds it first, it belongs to them. The father died. The three sons dug every corner of the field. They didn't find the treasure. However, when they had sold the particularly good yields in the autumn, they understood the words of their father ”. With this in mind, he, de Maizière, wishes the Afghan partners courage, strength and patience so that they can master their difficult task well, so that the harvest will be good.

Minister de Maizière has enough classical education to know that this story is part of the pedagogical core of all peasant-agrarian societies. It is aimed at the family, reminding the next generation of what all prosperity is based on. It has nothing to do with state building. Dig up, dig up and dig up again so that the harvest will be good. There is no need to remind the rural population in Afghanistan of this. Intended as an invitation, the retelling can sound like mockery to Afghan ears.

Escape is increasing again

Two reporters from Wall Street Journals reported on October 15 of a 37-year-old mother of six who fled rural Wardack with her six children to the outskirts of Kabul last year. She had no other chance, she says. “The Taliban forced us to provide food for them. But if we did that, the government would harass us. We were crushed in the middle. ”Where is there a field to dig up? It stays behind.

According to UNHCR data, the number of internally displaced persons and refugees had fallen from a high of over 600,000 in 2002 to well below 200,000 by 2006. That was the low point. From 2007, with the return of the Taliban and the civil war, the number of refugees and displaced persons rose again and again in the following years and in 2013 almost reached the high of 2002 again in August. Even if one had had time to dig up, one would often not have any Had the opportunity to harvest. De Maizière's quote from happier times when humans were confronted with nature must have seemed like a distant fairy tale to the Afghans present. In fairy tales one can also confuse the exchange of painted cardboard keys with the transfer of power.

Who slipped into the role of the old farmer and testator in this address? The defense minister and the armed forces! Together with Westerwelle, he hands over the keys. Now the Afghans can compete. Do you have to promise them a treasure for this? What was intended as deference turns out to be an expression of indifference and incomprehension. One can only hope that it didn't come across in the translation.

The speechwriters in the Defense Ministry must have developed a certain post-colonial sensitivity after so many visits by the Minister in Kunduz. That's not the case. When such mistakes happen at the highest level on a solemn occasion, the soldiers in everyday Afghan life may not be any better, despite the best will.

In the war, but in which one?

Was it de Maiziére or already the vicious baron to whom the commentators recognized the merit of having officially used the word “war” for the first time to refer to the situation in Afghanistan? You don't need to look it up. What is important is which war was and is exactly what Afghanistan is about? This is still controversial among the protagonists of the war.

Then there is the war on terror, which is almost exclusively from the USA under the label locally Operation for Enduring Freedom is led. At the UN, this war runs under the right to self-defense, as it was confirmed by Security Council Resolution 1368 of September 12, 2001, one day after the attacks in New York and Washington. OEF as the self-defense of the USA and its allies is obviously about their freedom, which should be preserved. The late former Defense Minister Struck probably had this mandate in mind when he claimed that Germany's security was being defended in the Hindu Kush. In fact, the military deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan consists almost exclusively of participation in ISAF, the protection and support force that was authorized by Security Council Resolution 1386 of December 20, 2001. This mandate - with emphasis on the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan - is about securing the conditions under which Afghanistan can rebuild its government institutions. It's not about self-defense, it's about defending others. It is expressly recognized, however, that the responsibility to ensure security, law and order remains with the Afghans themselves throughout the country.

When superior foreign military is necessary to secure the sovereignty of a state, conflict is inevitable. The fact that they do not get out of hand will depend above all on the appearance of the foreign troops in their highest ranks up to the soldiers who patrol and get involved in combat. For the Bundeswehr in the north, this seemed largely unproblematic for a long time, until the return of the Taliban became more and more noticeable there too.

Did the Bundeswehr become, with the return of the Taliban, did ISAF become a party in a civil war? Was such partisanship covered by the mandate in the civil war? Basically, the UN and the governments deploying troops in Afghanistan are avoiding this problem. Instead, they are preparing to evade the problem on their own. The mandate expires in 2014. Until then, all military operations should be carried out by Afghan troops. Remaining training issues, their financing, etc. are left to agreements with the Afghan government.

The negotiations between the US and the Afghan government are of crucial importance as to whether, to what extent and in what legal status the US armed forces should remain in the country after 2014. Here, as in the negotiations with parts of the Taliban, the characterization of the war is politically relevant. If it is a civil war, then it is an internal Afghan issue; if it is still primarily a war on international terrorism, it remains an international issue. Now that needs to be clarified.

The President's frustration

Obama's representative for Afghanistan, James Dobbins, had spoken of the fact that there was civil war in Afghanistan. That is the usual western view. However, Dobbins received harsh criticism with his comment on the Afghan President's homepage. The president's spokesman, Aimal Faizi, had replied in an interview: “If there is really a civil war going on in Afghanistan, it means that the United States has not fought terrorism for the past ten years, but has fought a civil war and so on have intensified what they now call civil war. ”Only then would the civil war be the result of a wrongly waged war on terrorism.

Right from the start, the Afghan side was opposed to calling the war in Afghanistan not a war on terror, but an uprising, "because then it would be an internal affair of Afghanistan that would not require any military interference from the USA". The sole reason for the presence of the United States and NATO, as mandated by the UN, is the fight against terrorism. This may seem like a dispute over the emperor's beard, but it is important for the Afghan government to see itself.

President Karzai said in an interview with Chinese television (September 28) that only exceptional circumstances would have made the Afghans, a very proud nation, accept the presence of foreign troops in the country. "The terrorism in Afghanistan, the presence of Al Qaeda, the atrocities of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the unanimous decision of the international community to offer support to Afghanistan made the Afghans welcome the international community." October that the whole of NATO's appearance on the security front had brought Afghanistan a lot of suffering, but no gains because the country was not safe. NATO had wrongly directed the fight towards the Afghan villages instead of the safe havens of the Taliban in Pakistan.

This argument tries to shift the causes of the war to the outside and to criticize NATO for having transplanted these causes inside instead of fighting them outside. Most of the corruption in the country was also brought in from outside. As unjustified as this argument may be, it is intended to prepare the ground for an understanding between the Afghans. The Islamist groups are Afghans. He has conversations with them. Wherever the Afghan president appoints a Taliban to a government job, he is welcome. But wherever the people entrust representatives of the people with state tasks in elections, the Taliban should come and take part in the elections. This is aimed at the Taliban as Afghans and at groups of Taliban who want to participate in the Afghan state. There is no offer to negotiate the Taliban. Karzai wants to get rid of the image of an American puppet and appeals to the unity of the nation. He does this from the position of the elected representative of the nation.

The power of fiction

Karzai cannot free himself from the actual dependence on foreign troops and foreign money. Western publications then speak of a de jure sovereignty for Afghanistan, which de facto does not even exist.

Karzai is the prisoner of his presidency starting point. It can only assert its actual weakness internally and externally if it insists on Afghanistan's sovereignty and emphasizes the independence of the president. Hence the wish to be properly recognized in all representative dignity. In any case, the West should not hurt him even more in this tragic pose by partially engaging in talks with the Taliban behind his back. It is not as if there is a powerless Afghan president on the one hand and the USA and its allies on the other, who know exactly where to go.

The perception that the fronts of a civil war had re-emerged in Afghanistan led to the decision to phase out ISAF and withdraw its own troops. If it is clear that only the Afghans themselves can find their way out of the civil war, one should not degrade the reputation of state institutions and take even fictitious power seriously. Whenever it existed, Afghan unity consisted of a more symbolic central power and regional centers of power that were dependent on the mediation of the central institutions. In a country with such different groups of forces, the civil war does not arise from the multitude of centers of power, but from the attempt to subjugate them to a central power. The communists failed in their attempt despite massive Russian support. The Taliban's attempt collapsed when it faced the first major challenge. All they could do was retreat to Pakistan, from where they set out on their march of conquest. The civil war among the Mujahideen had arisen from the struggle for control of Kabul. The Afghan President, including the new one who may be elected next year, should not be judged by his (lack of) power, but by his ability to mediate and moderate. In that sense, Karzai may be absent as president for the next few years.