My dad has a letter to the editor in today’s times, placing Afghanistan’s elections in a historical context:
To the Editor:
It is important to put the presidential elections in Afghanistan into historical perspective.
When I was active in developing university programs in Kabul in the 1960’s and early 70’s, I observed the progressive Afghan Constitution of 1964 in action.
In 1969, two million Afghans voted in national elections for a parliament. During that period, under King Mohammad Zahir Shah, representative democratic government took hold. Women, guaranteed equal rights under the Constitution, were represented in Parliament, and co-education was the norm at Kabul University. Today, the security situation in Afghanistan still does not permit elections for Parliament.
Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan has had democratic traditions and a significant history of peaceful existence as a unified country.
Edward A. Friedman