MANIFESTO OF THE AFGHANISTAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
(Afghan Millat National Progressive Party)
Afghanistan, located in the heart of Asia, is a great ancient country having a history
of thousands of years of national glory and socio-cultural values, which have developed
and strengthened over centuries of its existence. The anti-colonial spirit of this
great nation has always been its characteristic feature which has thrived over centuries
of its chequered history. The country has been home to such great civilizations like
Bactrian, Aryan and Kushan and such great dynasties like those of Abdalis, Ghaznawis
and Ghawris which have left deep imprints on the social and cultural geography of
Due to its unique geo-strategic location, Afghanistan has been subjected to foreign
invasions and internal troubles at various stages of its tumultuous history. The
most recent example is that of the Soviet invasion of 1979 which cost the nation
about two millions of its precious lives to preserve its national independence and
A glorious past, an enduring spirit of patriotism and a desire to transform, a country
with a highly traditional and tribal society, into a modern democratic state with
equal opportunities for all were the main factors behind the foundation of the Afghanistan
Social Democratic Party (ASDP), which became well-known as Afghan Millat Party. This
happened under the leadership of Engineer Ghulam Mohammad Farhad on 8 March 1966
with two fundamental principles i.e. ‘Afghan Nationalism’ and ‘Social Democracy’.
The following are the five basic pillars of our Afghan Nationalism.
1) The resolve to preserve our national values
2) The resolve to develop our national economy on social democratic principles
3) The resolve to preserve our cultural heritage and develop it further with positive
aspects from the modern era
4) The resolve to honor our glorious history
5) The resolve to keep our unified sense of loyalty to national interests.
In order to achieve its goals, The Afghanistan Social Democratic Party presents the
following manifesto to the people of Afghanistan.
I - POLITICAL AGENDA
It is a well-established fact that sustainable socio-economic development cannot
be achieved in the absence of genuine political democracy in a country. ASDP strongly
advocates and strives to achieve a true democracy in Afghanistan through peaceful
political struggle. In order to achieve its overall goals, ASDP has the following
political agenda as part of its manifesto:
1. ASDP is a national, democratic and progressive party that has been struggling
for a progressive and developed Afghanistan in the framework of its national Islamic
2. Preserving the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country is
one of the basic values of ASDP.
3. ASDP believes that, In order to achieve a developed society, implementation of
the constitution is absolutely important. ASDP considers as part of its duties to
work for the implementation of the constitution in its entirety.
4. ASDP believes that defending the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the country is a national obligation and the topmost priority regardless of any
political ideology. To achieve this, the national defense capability of the country
must be adequately enhanced and strengthened.
5. ASDP believes that use of political power is a national responsibility. Political
power must only be exercised for the good of all and for the national interests and
not for any unjust or unfair ends whatsoever.
6. Re-organization of the state-structure, eradication of corruption from state machinery
and institutions, expediting the day-to-day working operations of the state for the
welfare and convenience of people, prioritizing collective and national interests
over personal interests are among the prime goals of the ASDP.
7. ASDP believes in and stands for the rights of all citizens of Afghanistan to have
the freedom to form political, social and professional organizations and associations
and to participate in strikes, demonstrations and meetings in a peaceful, free and
democratic manner. Furthermore, ASDP stands for the rights of the citizens above
18 years of age to elect and be elected at local, provincial and national level within
the framework of the national constitution.
8. ASDP supports friendly relations with all countries of the world and particularly
with our neighboring countries. Any border disputes must be resolved though peaceful
means and dialogues. ASDP gives special significance to our relations with the Muslim
world. Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and not allowing
other countries to intervene in the internal affair of our country are the fundamental
principles of our foreign policy. ASDP believes in a pragmatic foreign policy that
best reflects our national interests and is based on realities of the present world.
The fact that the world is rapidly transforming into a global village, countries
of the world are getting closer to each other than ever before due to economic interdependence.
Afghanistan, being part of this global village, cannot afford to stay isolated from
the trends of globalization. The developed countries, no matter how advanced in technology,
still depend, up to varying extents, on the natural resources of the Third World
countries. On the other hand, the Third World Countries need the financial, technical
and academic support of the developed world for their economic development.
During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the political, financial, moral and military
support of the West for the Afghan Resistance was highly significant. ASDP, while
recognizing this, strongly supports our relations with countries of the west based
on mutual interests and mutual respect.
ASDP supports Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. ASDP acknowledges UN’s continued support and involvement in the
peaceful resolution of Afghan Conflict.
II - ECONOMIC AGENDA
Rapid and sustainable economic development of Afghanistan is one of the key goals
of ASDP. ASDP believes that social and political stability cannot be established
without economic stability in place. Due to the Soviet invasion of 1979 and subsequent
conflicts, political instability, and civil war, the economic infrastructure of the
country has virtually been destroyed. In order to rehabilitate the economy and to
lead the country to real progress and development, the ASDP has the following economic
1. ASDP follows the path of ‘social democracy’ as part of its economic program for
the country. ASDP believes that with continuing economic growth, social justice and
equal opportunity for all can effectively be adhered to if the principles of social
democracy are implemented. It is to be noted that our social democracy has Afghan
characteristic and is based on pragmatism. We believe that ideology is for the sake
of people and not vice versa. Therefore, our social democracy would suit the socio-economic
conditions of Afghanistan and does not refer to the classic definition of social
2. Economic history of the world has proved that market economy best serves to
achieve economic development. ASDP supports this notion provided that economic injustices
are prevented through state regulations.
3. ASDP believes that forces of the market economy might also carry the potential
risk of not maintaining social justice, if appropriate policy measures are not in
place. Therefore, ASDP, on one hand supports market economy and private sector development,
on the other hand, strongly advocates coexistence of a strong public sector. ASDP
believes that economic exploitation can and must be prevented through appropriate
state regulations as long as such regulations do not thwart individuals’ liberties.
4. ASDP believes that industrialization is crucial to our economic growth. Industrial
development has traditionally received the least consideration from the governments
of the past due to various reasons. Bringing about industrial revolution in the country
is one of the key goals of ASDP as part of its economic agenda.
5. Agriculture has been the most common occupation for majority of Afghans and agricultural
products are the major source of revenues to the national economy. Agricultural industry
needs greater attention for robust development. Due to old methods of farming, mine
risks, droughts and non-existence of proper irrigation systems, agriculture sector
is yet to be developed to its full potential. ASDP emphasizes the development of
agriculture sector through appropriate policy measures.
6. For enhancing the agricultural industry, the agricultural development banks
need to be re-structured and expanded to benefit more farmers across the country.
Appropriate institutions must be established to respond to emergency situations that
threaten the agriculture sector. Furthermore, proper measures should be taken to
enhance the export of agricultural products by making the farm-to-markets means of
transportation more efficient.
7. Developing both surface and ground water resources for irrigating un-irrigated
and dry lands is considered to be the most crucial requirement for developing the
agriculture industry. Preventing desertification, transforming desert areas into
cultivable lands and distributing lands among those who are landless are part of
the economic program of ASDP. Development of hydropower and other sources of energy
like solar and wind energy are essential to meeting our growing energy needs. While
ASDP emphasizes the importance of growth in the energy sector, it also calls for
appropriate measures to mitigate the environmental impacts caused by developing various
sources of energy.
8. Forests are one of our national assets. During the past several decades, deforestation
has occurred at a wider scale in various parts of the country. This has adversely
impacted our environment besides diminishing our precious natural resource. ASDP
will take all necessary measures to prevent deforestation by establishing proper
institutions and enacting special laws.
9. ASDP emphasizes the importance of making the means of communication like postal
service, telephone, fax and internet accessible in all parts of the country and to
all people at affordable costs.
10. Afghanistan is natural resources – rich country. Unfortunately, due to political
instability and negligence of past governments our natural resources have never been
utilized to help develop our country and raise the living standards of our citizens.
ASDP, as part of its progressive approach to building up the country’s economy, has
a broad policy of tapping our natural resources for the benefit and well being of
our great nation.
11. Our tax collection system must be based on democratic principles. ASDP believes
that greater attention must be paid to direct taxes than indirect taxes because this
will accelerate the process of building up the national budget resulting into creating
more job opportunities and helping in the overall rapid development of the country.
12. Custom revenues are the most important part of our national budget and make a
significant contribution towards overall economic development of the country. Eradicating
corruption from our customs and bringing in transparency in the work of custom departments
are among the key objectives of ASDP.
III - SOCIAL AGENDA
Afghanistan has witnessed an era of rich civilizations. At various stages of history
it has also been subjected to foreign invasions and internal authoritarian regimes.
This has affected our social structure and behavior. The most recent example is that
of the Soviet invasion and communist regime followed by successive authoritarian
and undemocratic regimes which have adversely affected our societal behaviors. In
order to prevent further deterioration of our social structure and incorporate modern,
democratic values into our society, ASDP has the following social agenda to present
to its countrymen:
1. Protecting our national Sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity is
directly related to the capabilities of our people. Paving the way for our people
to utilize their full potential based on their physical and mental abilities is one
of the basic duties of ASDP as part of its social program.
2. ASDP recognizes the rights of all working citizens, retirees or any other group
of people of common or shared interests to form associations and trade unions. ASDP
also strives to establish insurance, social security and special benefit programs
to protect the elderly citizens, the disabled, the orphans, and the unemployed for
various valid reasons.
3. It is a fact that women have not been given their due rights in our society. ASDP
recognizes and defends the principle of equal rights for both men and women. Women
must be allowed to freely participate in all affairs of the state and society without
any discrimination. ASDP struggles to win women their rights they have been deprived
of for centuries. Therefore, women empowerment is one of the key objectives of our
4. Providing free health care to all stands at the center of our social democratic
principles. Our health care centers, clinics and hospitals must be equipped with
all the latest medical facilities. Besides the regular treatment practices, there
should also be emphasis on preventive care medicines. Environmental protection and
provision of proper hygiene is equally important and needs proper consideration.
Provision of high quality medical education is a must for implementing our goals
in the health sector. There should be no bar on health care facilities in the private
5. ASDP urges that living standards of people in both urban and rural areas of the
country be raised through the provision of all kinds of facilities as per the modern
day requirements. Social, cultural and economic development in urban areas should
be encouraged. However, urbanization and expansion of cities should occur under a
well-planned strategy so that the natural ecology, agriculture and farming remain
6. ASDP gives high priority to education and schooling. All children above 3 years
of age must have free and compulsory primary education without any gender discrimination.
7. National education must reflect our national interests and the needs of modern
era. Our education curriculum must enable our young generation to compete at the
world level to be productive to themselves, their society and the country at large.
8. ASDP believes that Afghans have enormous talent in every field of science and
arts. It is responsibility of both the state and society to pave the way for utilizing
these talents to their fullest potentials.
9. Both urban and rural areas of the country must have equal access to educational
resources and facilities without any discrimination. Establishment of night schools
for those who cannot pursue schooling due to several reasons is part of our program.
10. Eradication of illiteracy at national level and making Afghanistan a hundred
percent literate nation is one of the top priorities of ASDP.
IV - CULTURAL AGENDA
Afghanistan is an ancient country with a history spanning over thousands of years.
It has been a crossroad of great civilizations. Afghan culture has been influenced
by many events of the past the country has witnessed during its five-thousand-year
old history. The country now stands at the threshold of history caught between such
diverse phenomena such as traditionalism, tribalism, conservatism and modernism.
ASDP believes that cultural stability is an important component of social stability,
which is a must for development. ASDP, as part of its cultural revolution has the
1. Every society has a characteristic culture that develops historically over the
life of the nation. Society has the right to protect and preserve its cultural values.
it is a reality that cultural diversity makes our world an interesting and amazing
place for all people. Working to steer advancement of our culture in a direction
that will allow us to have a sustainable development in all walks of life is the
fundamental principle of the ASDP’s Cultural Revolution. Afghan culture in broad
sense is influenced by Afghaniat (the quality of being Afghan by adhering to the
core values of the nation) and Islam. Islam plays a significant role in the Afghan
culture. ASDP does not agree to the idea of cultural inertia. Accepting positive
aspects from other cultures and nations to better adapt our own culture for socio-economic
development should be encouraged. However, this should not happen at the cost of
losing our identity and our core cultural values.
2. ASDP respects all languages spoken in the country, but in line with the Constitution
recognizes only Pashto and Dari as the country’s two (2) official languages. ASDP
believes that, in line with our democratic principles, the degree of importance of
any language of the country must be in proportion to the number of speakers of that
3. ASDP highly emphasizes the importance of the freedom of press and electronic
media and believes that such freedom plays a pivotal role in developing a democratic
and tolerant culture in the country, which is essential for social and cultural development
4. ASDP believes that radio and television must be entirely independent institution
free from all kinds of governmental control where all political and civil society
organizations can convey their message to the public on equal basis.