Manifesto

دافغان ملت ملي مترقي ګوند


 Afghanistan Social Democratic Party

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کورپاڼه د ګوندمرامنامه  دګوند تاریخچه زمونږ دریځ لیکنې دا فغان ملت نومیالي دګوند مشر عکسونه خبرونه او غونډې مونږ سره اړیکې

MANIFESTO OF THE AFGHANISTAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY


(Afghan Millat National Progressive Party)


PREAMBLE


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 the country.  


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 identity.


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 character.


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 agenda:


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 democracy.


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 struggle.


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 sectors.


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 unaffected.


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 following program:


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 language.


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 of people.


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.