LONDON: In the last 19 years, numerous countries from the Commonwealth such as the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland have sacrificed the lives of hundreds of their citizens and soldiers, and have spent billions of dollars to free Afghanistan from terrorism, rehabilitate the nation and turn it into a modern and self-sustaining democracy. 

Afghan Council of Great Britain believes that Afghanistan’s transition from a war-ravaged country into a modern democracy cannot be achieved through aid or military means alone. It must establish economic, academic, cultural, diplomatic and political ties with different nations of the world.

To achieve this goal and give the people of Afghanistan a sustainable transition and a fair chance of rebuilding their country, Afghanistan must become part of numerous regional unions and global inter-governmental entities such as the Commonwealth. 

The Commonwealth is the ideal union for Afghanistan. Afghanistan is within the union but official outside. Its geographic location in South Asia where almost all nations are part of the Commonwealth, its extensive use of English language in government, education and commerce is the official language of Commonwealth. There are millions of Afghans living in Commonwealth nations from Canada to UK, Pakistan, India and all the way to New Zealand.

The membership will allow Afghanistan to build stronger relationships, learn and replicate success stories from the commonwealth nations that it has a lot of similarities with, raise its voice on key issues and play its role as a member of the global community of nations. 

Since the fall of Taliban, Afghanistan has been an active member of United Nations, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and more recently became a member of World Trade Organisation (WTO). We believe it is time for Afghanistan to join the Commonwealth.

Membership of Commonwealth will strengthen and enhance the gains made in Afghanistan since 2001.

It will boost good governance, democracy, protection of human rights, peace and ensure security in the country, the region and the world.

It will also strengthen rule of law, sustainable development, access to health, education, food, shelter, gender equality and the role of civil society. It will promote people to people exchange of ideas, shared values, knowledge, innovation, culture and business. 

The membership will also allow Afghanistan to establish economic, academic, cultural, diplomatic, civil society and educational exchange programs with other Commonwealth nations to build a stronger government, economy and civil society resulting in an organic and self-sustaining nation. 

Finally it is a moral imperative for the nations of Commonwealth to have Afghanistan among them for the thousands of Afghan and Commonwealth nations’ citizens who have lost their lives to get Afghanistan stand on its feet. We cannot let those sacrifices go in vain but rather build on them. 

We hope you support, join and share our campaign.