Monday, January 17, 2011

Note from a Shura: How to End the War

This is a sort of, partial answer to Smeeko's Ask a Geographer question.  I will try to develop on his questions in further posts.  If you have your own question dealing with geography and relating to Afghanistan be sure to e-mail me at catholicgauze [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment!

Photo courtesy of the PRT
 I was fortunate enough earlier in my time in Afghanistan to attend an impromptu shura between Pashtun village elders and a Provencal Reconstruction Team (PRT).

The elders stated the only way to end the war was for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to summon a giant shura of all religious scholars and have them settle everything from the war, to laws to be implemented, to what to do with aid and soldiers from all over the world.  They were upset that in nine years of his reign President Karzai has done nothing like this.

When a leading PRT member said he hope to start a shura with the elders, PRT, and local Taliban to achieve peace the elders dismissed the PRT's proposal as pointless.  A peace shura can "only come from Karzai."

The elders did state they would appreciate PRT support for their clinic.  The elders said ,"Just a few days ago a woman died giving birth to a son because there was no medicine.  The doctor has left because there is no money to pay him.  Give us medicine and money for a doctor.  Anything else you give us the Taliban will take and punish us for accepting gifts from you."


Dan tdaxp said...

This is a moving post. Thank you for sharing.

Ryan said...

Why hasn't Karzai called this "giant shura"? How do Taliban leaders feel about those potential discussions?

Catholicgauze said...

Karzai believes the Bonn Meeting/Shura and the following elections have made a legitimate Afghan government and that if the Taliban missed the boat that is their own problem.
Who would be invited is another issue. Since only Shia have hierarchies, even those are weak, who decides what makes a religious scholar? Heck, Wahabbis don't recognize Shiites as proper Muslims.
Then you have the Taliban. Mullah Omar is a religious scholar who thinks anyone tied with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan deserves death. Some under him favor somesort of reunion but as long as Omar lives don't expect much in the form of Taliban outreach.