Afghanistan has been the conglomeration of several ethnic societies. These
societies are self-governed based on traditions. To provide leadership, the
people choose their chiefs, known as known as Begs or Khans. The central
authority loosily holds these ethnic groups. Kabul has tenuous control of
the provinces, most of which govern themselves on most matters. Historically
Afghanistan has been the part of various empires based in India or Central
Asia. The British, for a long time, had a loud say in the government affairs
of Kabul. In the time of Najibullah, Kabul tried to exert tight control on
the provinces, but had to face armed resistance. Then came the period of
Civil War and after that Taliban. The international community tried to
introduce concept of modern state in Afghanistan. Here is brief information
on the governance system of Afghanistan.
After the ouster of the Talibans from power, prominent Afghans met under UN
auspices in Bonn, Germany. After several rounds of hectic parleys, Afghan
Interim Authority, made up of 30 members and headed by a chairman, was
constituted. It was given a six-month mandate, followed two-year
transitional authority. Structure of transitional authority was anounced by
Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly). The Transitional Authority held the meeting of
constitutional Loya Jirga to adopt the constitution. Thereafter, first ever
general elections were held in Afghanistan.
First Democratic Government
As the result of general elections, first democratic government came to
power in Afghanistan. Loya Jirga was replaced by the National Assembly.
Presidential form of government was adopted with a bicameral legislature.
Steps were taken to constitute an independent Supreme Court. Due to decades
of war, administrative and economic conditions of Afghanistan were in
shambles. The democratic government, headed by Hamid Karzai is striving hard
to bring Afghanistan back on tracks, with the active participation of all
The Afghans are learning the modern way of administration, and in the
process, experimenting for their own model. The system is plagued by number
of problems including fragmented administrative structure. Low salaries mean
that few people with significant administrative and management skills
continue with their job. Institutions of high education suffered drastic
decline in the decades on conflict. Hence few people with required
educational background are available in the country. The government is
trying to establish merit-based recruitment procedures. Current
administrative system is slow and cumbersome.
Finance of State
Domestic revenue system of Afghanistan is not well geared. Current internal
revenues cover less than half of the state's expenditure. Hence the
government is dependent on fforeign aid. With assistance by foreign experts,
the government is striving to develop sound administrative capacity, capable
of assessing and collecting taxes throughout the country. The government is
taking steps to prioritise expenditures and increase revenues.