Meeting Titled “The Constitution; Citizenship Rights and Sustainable Peace” Was Held
A meeting titled "The Constitution; Citizenship Rights and Sustainable Peace" was held at the State Ministry for Peace with the presence of Qanoonpoh Ustad Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the second Vice President; Dr. Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, First Deputy of the High Council for National Reconciliation; Qazawatpoh Fazal Ahmad Manawi, Minister of Justice; Mr. Abdullah Khenjani, Deputy Minister of Coordination, Policy and Strategy and Acting Minister of the State Ministry for Peace; Dr. Abdullah Shafaei, Member and Acting Head of the Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, and with the participation of prominent academic and civic figures, influential, women and youth.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Abdullah Khenjani, Deputy Minister of Coordina-tion, Policy and Strategy and the Acting Minister of the State Ministry for Peace, wel-comed the participants and said that the National Week and the 17th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution is being commemorated while the values of our national charter are threatened more than ever by the backwardness, extremism and coercion from the internal and external opponents of the republic.
He said: "We commemorate the Constitution, as a document guaranteeing our rights and freedoms, as our national charter for unity and pluralism, and the guide to the sovereign-ty of the people, and we all mobilize to defend our rights and freedoms."
Mr. Khenjani called the people of Afghanistan the main owners of the Constitution and said that all should stand together in defense of the values of this national document, away from their political differences and motivations.
He stressed that while the values of the Constitution facing the threats of backwardness, extremism and political narrow-mindedness, we as responsible citizens should not re-main apathetic.
Mr. Khenjani further stated that the State Ministry for Peace considers it its duty to pro-vide the ground for a positive and sustainable peace by upholding the values of the Con-stitution and the rights of the people through the rule of law, and efforts are made to make the law, justice, and equality the basis of the current peace process in the country.
Qanoonpoh Ustad Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, the second vice president, said that peace means beyond the absence of war. Real peace may not be restored with the end of war. Hence the concept of "Sustainable peace" is propounded as a political and philosophical discourse.
He said that in any war there is a kind of conflict of interest and balance must be struck between the interests of parties. This balance contributes to the sustainability of peace. Referring to the post-conflict stage, Mr. Danesh said that at least three stages of peace-making, peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be developed.
Stating that Afghanistan is in the first stage, he said that in order to ensure sustainable peace, no peace agreement should have any secrets, and all stressors must be addressed, and also sustainable peace must be based on the republican order.
The vice president went on to say that amending the Constitution should not mean its removal. Recalling the historical examples of interim governments or administrations in Afghanistan and other countries, he said that such administrations are considered in emergencies and political vacuum, but today, there is no need for an interim government to achieve peace.
Dr. Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, First Deputy of the High Council for National Reconcil-iation, said that the Constitution creates unity and plays the role of delegating authority to the government.
He called the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is one of the best con-stitutions in the region and said that the country’s Constitution in terms of content in-cludes the rights and engagement of citizens, the role of political movements, human rights values, and its amendment mechanism.
He also stressed the implementation of the fundamental values enshrined in the Consti-tution and said that these values should not remain on paper; because in the shadow of this Constitution, a new generation has emerged with a new thought.
After that, the Minister of Justice Qazawatpoh Fazal Ahmad Manawi, said that the Con-stitution of Afghanistan, however is not free from defects as it does not meet all the nec-essary requirements; but it has content that, if observed, would create a better situation for us politically, economically and socially.
He said that there is nothing in the Constitution that contradicted the religion and be-liefs of the Afghan people, but, as its amendment is predicted, the Constitution might be criticized politically and structurally.
He stressed that the fundamental rights of citizens in the Constitution are in accordance with Islam, and we will not allow amendments to this part of the Constitution.
Mr. Manawi further stated that breaking the umbrella of the system, under which we all are, is not acceptable.
Dr. Abdullah Shafaei, Member and Acting Head of the Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution stated that the Constitution is the most fundamental document for determining the political structure and fundamental rights of citizens as it is the best constitution in the region in terms of content; but we have to look at its im-plementation.
He stressed that the people, along with the government, should fulfil the responsibility of defending and upholding the values of the Constitution.
Mr. Shafaei called the Constitution as an achievement of the Islamic Republic and said that action should be taken to better implement it.
In the second part of the program, which included a live discussion, Dr. Omar Sadr, a uni-versity professor discussed the content of the Constitution under the title of "The Consti-tution and the Republican System" and said that the content of the Constitution needs to be explored and studied, and public awareness should be made about it.
He called nation-building and citizenship rights the main components of the republican system and said that ethnic, linguistic and religious differences must be accepted for the sake of nation-building.
Speaking about the "components of nation-building in the Constitution", Ustad Najeebul-lah Manalai, said that in addition to nation-building, there is need to work on the struc-ture of government. He called the respect for national values and terms important for strengthening national unity and nation-building. He also stressed that sub-laws are needed to implement the Constitution.
Speaking about the "rights and position of women in the Constitution," Ms. Palwash Has-san, a women's rights activist, said that women's rights are enshrined in all articles of the Constitution; but experience has shown that in terms of law implementation patriarchal view is existed. She called women as the main victims of the ongoing war and said that women defend and support the Constitution of Afghanistan; because women's rights are included in this document as it also supports women's achievements.
The meeting was held for commemoration of the adoption of the Constitution. It is worth mentioning that a meeting was also held last week for the sake of awareness of the State Ministry for Peace staff about the Constitution.