Jalali to contest 2014 presidential vote
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Ali Ahmad Jalali said his backers had asked him to join the 2009 presidential race that saw Hamid Karzai re-elected for a five-year term.
During the last presidential ballot, Karzai, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and parliamentarian Ramazan Bashardost were the leading candidates. There were rumours that Jalalai would be among the 30 runners, but he chose not to contest.
“In deference to people’s wishes, I intend to contest the presidential election in 2014,” said the ex-minister, who called for the creation of a working group -- committed to the core national interests -- to end the ongoing conflict and steer the country out of the present crisis.
“The conflict cannot be resolved unless an honest team is constituted to run national affairs. A leader having a complete team should run for the presidency,” he opined.
He called a weak central government the main challenge to efforts at resolving the conflict, saying officials working for personal or foreign interest should be replaced with honest and professional individuals.
“Now is the time to bring to a single platform all the forces with the ability to implement the constitution, win the trust of the people and deal with internal and external threats,” he said.
On the 2014 election, Jalali said he was worried whether the vote would take place on schedule. “A transparent vote can bring peace and stability,” he believed, warning that the country would be further destabilised by an unfair ballot. "If Afghans vote for a person who works to rescue the country, it will be your success.”
Speculation has it that Jalali stood down as interior minister after developing differences with Karzai on on the appointment of provincial governors and the alleged involvement of government officials in the drug commerce.
Born in Kabul in 1940, Jalali obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the former Afghan Military University (currently knowns as Kabul Military Training Centre) after graduating from the Habibia High School. Later, he earned a diploma from the US Army Infantry Advance Course in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1964.
Jalali did his Masters in Military Science from the Staff College in Kabul in 1966, and his PSC from the British Staff College in 1967. He has served as a professor at the Military University and Staff College in Kabul, besides working with the Voice of America as a writer, broadcaster and chief of Pashto, Dari and Farsi services.
In January 2003, he was appointed as minister of interior under the Transitional government. The author of numerous books, strategic analyses and articles, he speaks Dari, Pashto, English, French, Russian and Tajik. He was re-appointed as interior minister 2004.
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