chapter  9
5 Pages


WithAmin Saikal, William Maley

the process of state-building in Afghanistan has at all times been a task of great complexity, and the events since 1978 have enormously added to the difficulty of legitimating state action in terms which will resonate amongst Afghanistan's micro-societies. The instrumentalities of a legitimate state may therefore be needed to play a mediatory role in order to keep the members of hostile micro-societies from each others' throats. In severely divided societies, however, majoritarian democracy is unlikely to provide the basis for a stable and legitimate political order. In a sense, the pre-communist situation in which the political establishment and armed forces were Pushtundominated and the bureaucracy Tajik-dominated represented a crude kind of proportionality of political influence. If the world community turns its back on the Afghan tragedy, the misery of the Afghans can only increase. An unlimited mutual veto would be unlikely to work in Afghanistan, given the disposition of different groups to use the veto power vexatiously.