Afghanistan sliding into autocracy: Paktia governor
GARDEZ (PAN): The governor of southeastern Paktia province on Sunday warned the present government system of Afghanistan is sliding into a monocracy, with a particular tribe grabbing more and more political power.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Juma Khan Hamdard urged the international community to preserve the gains of the past decade by preventing Afghanistan from slipping into monocracy.
"The government system has changed into a monarchy in most of the provinces, where the economy, military, police and militias are controlled by a particular tribe. This dictatorship can push the country into a deep quagmire," he cautioned.
Hamdard did not name any tribe or group. However, he said Afghanistan's neighbours were being accused of interfering in the country's affairs, but the most dangerous thing was the concentration of powers in one person or community.
He said the international community was duty-bound to steer Afghanistan out of the current crisis. Certain groups and individuals in the government, seeking to safeguard their personal interests, were supportive of the dangerous regime.
"One huge problem within the system is the creation of tribal and regional parties. If such entities are not curbed, peace and unity will continue to elude the country," the governor continued.
Afghanistan would be put on the road to progress only when an individual from the north felt safe working in the south, southeast and the east, he remarked, stressing the need for tribal harmony and amity.
"In most of provinces, political power is held by a particular group and the rest of tribes are marginalised. This situation is leading the country to anarchy and there is a need for remedial measures," Hamdard maintained.
He alleged some powerful individuals and groups were against the peace process, because war better served their interests. He claimed Pakhtuns alone were bearing the brunt of the conflict. "Our people and elders are being killed and our economy is threatened by the war."
The governor said those who were fuelling the war had no courage to face it themselves. "Those who are talking against peace should come to Paktia, Kandahar and the southeast to fight the insurgents," he said.
He insisted peace was in the interest of those opposing the war, because what they had gained could be lost again. The governor urged the Taliban to lay down their arms and join the reconciliation process.
For the sake of peace and stability, Hamdard expressed his willingness to step down as governor if the Taliban asked him. He said the facilitators of Taliban would not hesitate in handing them over to foreign troops after their objectives were achieved. "These people shielded Osama bin Laden and then handed his body to the US."