ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reconstruction of Afghanistan into a Modern Nation

Afghanistan today presents a unique case of reconstruction; its significance for world peace is enormous. This note maps the vital issues in the economy, polity, and society of Afghanistan. The Bonn agreement seems to have certain internal contradictions; an attempt has been made here to resolve them.

The war in Afghanistan – was it a clash of civilisations? President K R Narayanan has noted that civilisations do not clash, barbarism does. Civilisations, we know, cannot be neatly partitioned; they are overlapping, intertwined, deeply rooted into each other. Civilisation and religion are not coterminous. And human beings are not mere theological animals. Even Samuel Huntington, in exasperation, has counted some civilisations by geographical boundaries, for example, African, and Latin American. Whatever it might be, no one can deny that the Afghan battlefield has been a trial ground for the entire human heritage.

On December 5, 2001, in Bonn, the participants in the UN talks on Afghanistan signed a landmark agreement on provisional arrangements pending the reestablishment of permanent government institutions in Afghanistan. They proclaimed their commitment to “the principles of Islam, democracy, pluralism and social justice”, and their determination to take steps “toward the establishment of a broad-based, gender-sensitive, multi-ethnic and fully representative government” – in a word, a modern nation in a Muslim country.

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