Probe committee to start work on Barakzai’s case
KABUL (PAN): A committee is due to start its work on Thursday to investigate the case of Samin Barakzai, who has been on hunger strike for the twelfth consecutive day, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said.
Semin Barakzai, 32 years old from the western Herat province, had won a seat of Wolesi Jirga last year, but in August 2011, the IEC had announced nine MPs including her as failed and declaring other candidates as successful. She was unseated for getting fewer votes in last year's parliamentary election.
The investigating panel included two representatives from human rights commission, a civil society member and two parliamentarians, a statement from the ministry said, explaining lawmakers Asadullah Saadati and Mohammad Sarwar Osmani were introduced by Barakzai to the ministry.
Asadullah Saadati told Pajhwok Afghan News the government was yet to agree with them on the issue.
While quoting Barakzai, Saadati said the final decision of election panel brought under question the credibility of Parliament.
At around 11am, he said neither he received any request from the government nor Barakzai allowed him to initiate his work.
Rahima Jami, a lawmaker who replaced Barakzai, said Samin did not go on hunger strike only to have her case probed, but she also wanted a thoroughgoing inspection to the final IEC’s decision.
The statement did not reveal the names of representatives from the human rights commission and civil society, adding the team was introduced to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which would start their work as of today.
On Wednesday, President Hamid Karzai, through Wolesi Jirga’s speaker, had asked Barakzai to choose two representatives to investigate her case.
Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi told the Wolesi Jirga session that President Karzai had phoned him, telling the case of Barakzai would be probed with civil society and media representatives in attendance.
Pajhwok could not reach Barakzai for her view as security personnel did not let journalists to interview her.
However, Barakzai warned on Wednesday she would continue her protest until president issues a decree for probing her case.
“If hunger strike takes my life, I will not end it just on a phone call from the president,” she said.
“I am ready to end the protest if the president issues a decree which allow impartial institutions to be present during the investigation. The IEC chairman Manawi and his panel members should be excluded from team,” she added.
Manawi had broken the law and deprived her of her rights, making her to resort to hunger strike, so he should not be included in the investigation, she said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.