The former Vice President of Afghanistan, Sarwar Danish, has formed a new political party that claims to consider “all reasonable methods of combatting against tyranny and oppression” in Afghanistan. According to its fundamental principles, the Party proposes a “federal Islamic republic” as the mode of governance in Afghanistan.
Danish founded the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP) months after he was reported to have sought refuge in Switzerland with his family members.
Pointing to what the Party described as the Taliban’s “violent and exclusivist approach,” the Party notes that it shall use “any means” to change the current situation and secure the people’s rights and freedoms.
“The Justice and Freedom Party prefers political, intellectual, cultural, and civil strife, an emphasis for dialogue, and political solution to overcome the crisis, and does not consider war as a solution,” the Party added in its announcement of fundamental principles.
Accusing the ruling Taliban of torturing, executing, and confiscating the indigenous peoples, the Party noted that the Taliban made these efforts to change the “demographic structures” in the country.
“Life has become unbearable for the general public. There is racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious discrimination. Mismanagement, abuse of power, administrative corruption, surge in the smuggling of opium, and misuse of natural resources is rampant. The inability to manage the country’s economy is resulting in increasing unemployment and poverty,” part of the Party’s statement reads about the current Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Per the statement, the Party comprises political activists, academics, cultural scholars, and prominent social figures. Founding members of this party, as indicated in its statement, had an active presence during the years of Jihad – before 2001 – and the last two decades in different arenas in Afghanistan.
“The Party is resolved to confront the authoritarian, exclusive, and surrogate reign of the Taliban,” the statement noted the determination of this newly founded party.
JFP recommends a federal system
Among its founding principles, the JFP has recommended a “federal Islamic republic” as the most appropriate political system capable of bringing stability, equality, and securing the rights of all people of Afghanistan.
“The federal system of governance has shown its effectiveness and success in the world today and is used and implemented in major countries. Even in conflict-riddled countries with diverse ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural identities, a federal system can be effective,” the Party notes the effectiveness of its favorite political system in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has so far experienced several political systems throughout its history.
In 1973, Mohammad Daoud Khan overthrew the monarchy and established a highly centralized one-party system as President of Afghanistan. In April 1992, many Jihadi factions established the Islamic State of Afghanistan in Peshawar, Pakistan. In late 1996, the Taliban overthrew the Islamic State of Afghanistan and established their own centralized “Islamic Emirate” of Afghanistan. In 2001, the Taliban’s emirate collapsed with the US invasion. After the fall of the Taliban regime, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established with Hamid Karzai as its first President and Ashraf Ghani as its last President. On August 15, 2021, the Taliban overthrew Ghani’s government and restored their “Islamic Emirate” in the country.
All the political systems, including the former Republic in which Danish served as Vice President, so far have been highly centralized.
As per the analysis of the JFP, the federal system can be implemented in the form of a presidential, semi-presidential, or parliamentary system.
Admitting that other circles and groups have already endorsed such a political system for Afghanistan, the JFP noted that it would present its plan in detail about this system.
Some other prominent political figures, including Marshal Dostum, who served as Vice President during the former Republic, have also suggested a federal system for Afghanistan.
The Party describes that “justice and freedom” are the two main and fundamental components of its political philosophy. “The Party believes that the country is in the grips of dark tyranny that is subservient to foreign power,” the JFP stated. The Party adds that Afghanistan needs to be freed from the subjugation of foreign powers and dictatorship and attain freedom.
Per the statement, the Party believes in equal rights between men and women, freedom of religious practices, and freedom of speech and press.