The Afghan Tribune has managed an important interview with Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Gulab Mangal. Mr. Mangal plays an important role in the policy making the process of the state and he is close with the national institutes on the issues of national security, social order, and political matters. The interview contributes to the general and specific issues of Afghanistan in this juncture.
The Afghan Tribune: Would you like to describe the history of the borders & tribal affairs ministry?
Gulab Mangal: Ministry of Borders & Tribal Affairs was originally founded as an ordinary department of border issues under the supervision of kingdom authorization in 1921 by Afghan King Shah Amanullah Khan. Later this department grew into the independent Directorate of Border Issues in 1932 when Sardar M Hashim Khan was President of Afghanistan.
In 1953, the Ministry received high prestige of tribal issue’s department in the time of Shah Mahmood Khan Government when Sardar Dawood Khan was in power. This department grew up to the position of Independent Directorate of Borders & Tribal issues in 1973. Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan’s government had changed the directorate into Borders & Tribal Ministry by approval of the national cabinet. The name and title of ministry had been changed due to different eras, but its struggle is to making safe all Afghan borders through supporting of tribes inside Afghanistan as well as the tribes around the Durand Line where the Afghan nation has the same traditions and history.
The Afghan Tribune: The regional and international interest is changing and they are focusing to transfer the war to other parts of the country; what is your ministry’s responsibility to change the fate of the victims subjected to decades of war?
Gulab Mangal: Our ministry has no extraordinary policy to act or react outside of the main government plans & policies, but our ministry hopes to gather help from the international community & regional countries for regional stability & show the reality of terrorism. Unfortunately, we don’t have any positive performance of our neighbors regarding the solution to the problems. Inside the home, we believe that the activation of warlords in areas rather than borders areas created alternative power and rule against government writ and regulation. Instead of warlords we support & appreciate the tribal in bordering areas to stand for their own country. Inside the country, I don’t believe that we need any armed warlords in the name of local support to create more tension and resistance for national security forces and agencies. When we felt that the war is being transferred to those areas where security used to be so strong in recent years, we called the locals to never allow someone to use their territory for such activities.
The Afghan Tribune: There is no a single university for tribal population, will you act in this part for the tribal population? Recently, some social and political activists have raised the issue of the launching of Bacha Khan International University; how can you contribute in this mission for the people of Afghanistan and region?
Gulab Mangal: Recently the ministry has established the Institute for Modern Sciences in Kabul where the tribal youth can study and get the education on the priority basis. For now, we have only four faculties in our institute (Bayazid Roshan Institute).
We intend to extend its capacity to the institute of higher education in near future then we will develop it to the university level. This will be the first university where the whole curriculum should be in our national language which will help those students who belong to tribal areas.
I also strongly appreciate those who struggle for Bacha Khan International University in Khost. I understand that this is a gallant step to launch an international university in order to benefit the tribal population and it will certainly pave a way to peace, development and a peaceful mindset in the region.
The Afghan Tribune: How will you prioritize to facilitate the peace process within tribal zones?
Gulab Mangal: We provoke people to create stability in tribal areas by using their traditional sources like Grand Jirgas & traditional councils, the restoring of peace through empowerment of tribal leaders is more important in this case. The tribal elders have their own influential historical prestige among tribal areas to solve public conflicts where the government writ either vanished or is weak.
The local police have given good results in the settled areas because the tribal structures are not available in cities. We plan to make strong local police in tribal areas regarding strengthening peace and stability.
The Afghan Tribune: Has the international community worked in rehabilitating, rebuilding and facilitating the tribal zone, if yes then how?
Gulab Mangal: The international community has not considered the issue of tribes on the other side of the Durand Line. They never considered the issues of trade customs, building highways, roads & water resources can change the life of the tribal population. We will try to attract the attention of international community to pay consideration regarding this strategy.
The Afghan Tribune: Do you have any specific plan to bring out the tribal from proxy wars and ignorance and what would be your ministry’s role in facilitating the tribal social, economic and educational facilitation?
Gulab Mangal: We have proper planning for researching the educational and health facilities in tribal areas. We collected the data and submitted to the President and initiated sketching a good development plan for tribal areas through our own research and assessments. The President appreciated our plan and promised implementation. I think if we get through this plan and its implementation then we will see big changes.
The Afghan Tribune: What steps have you taken for reforms in tribal’s areas?
Gulab Mangal: I think we should describe and analyze the shape of reforms, now we need to restore old tribal council’s traditions. After that, I think we should go toward reforms on the basis of law. Now the enemy tries to avoid every kind of regional decision maker, paving a path for own presence. At this time, we do not collide with old and new theoretical points of view. I understand the revolutionary change and reforms will not give the positive results we’ve seen in the past, but gradually changing minds will give fine results.
The Afghan Tribune: People blame the ministry for not distributing the scholarships for the tribal areas, how you will defend this?
Gulab Mangal: The specific scholarships of foreign countries are not prepared yet for tribal areas but the stratagem of university exam (Kankoor) is made easy for tribal areas, our ministry took part in their capacity-building to enter the national institutions.
The Afghan Tribune: We don’t have a proper assessment of the learning process of the students in tribal schools. Do you think will it improve? People also blame, the school administration for not providing the proper accommodation, food and education?
Gulab Mangal: This time we have 3 high schools in Kabul city for tribal students (Khoshal I, Khashal II and Rahman Baba) where from 3500 to 5000 students are registrated as students. Food and accommodation are provided to them by our ministry, we have a high-level delegation from our ministry to visit these schools time to time. Another initiative is creating computer labs in these schools which are not seen yet in other schools of the country. We also get student complaints regularly, the security inside the dormitories is better than before, no one is allowed to enter the schools with prohibited tools. The problems of teachers are also resolved; we will try to apply more amendments & good changes inside the schools.
The Afghan Tribune | Web Desk | Published: April 19, 2016, 09:54 PM