Hekmatyar calls for elections in 2014
Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-i Islami Afghanistan, the second largest militant group in Afghanistan, floated the suggestion in a letter to 60 political figures and sought their feedback. A copy of the three-page, written in Pashto, was made available to Pajhwok Afghan News.
The country is faced with a crisis similar to the chaotic situation of 1990s, according to the HIA leader, who wrote that the US and its allies had grown war weary. They could not afford to suffer any more losses of life and cash, he said.
As some countries planned Afghanistan’s division, others sought to pave the ground for a new civil war, Hekmatyar alleged. He claimed efforts were being made to push Pakistan, Iran, India and Russia into the conflict.
While fearing Afghanistan could plunge into an unexpected disaster after 2014, when NATO-led troops are scheduled to leave, he suggested a string of measures to prevent a possible civil war.
Hekmatyar, stressing the need for an intra-Afghan dialogue, said the presence of foreign forces caued nothing but war. The outsiders were driven solely by their own interests, not Afghans’ demands and priorities, he insisted.
The fugitive insurgent leader warned that the present system would not survive beyond the withdrawal of NATO-led soldiers, because the West -- itself faced with an economic recession -- could not afford to prop it up.
The HIA chief called for an immediate end to the war, saying: “There should be a change of the government that is acceptable to all sides. The proposed regime should have its writ across the country. No part should be controlled by warlords and strongmen.”
He said he backed free, fair, transparent and simultaneous parliamentary, presidential and provincial council polls. However, he rejected the current electoral system as flawed, problematic, unfair and inconsistent with the ground realities in Afghanistan.
The former prime minister, opposing the high election fees, also voiced his opposition to a large number of political parties -- something that damaged national unity. He asked for an electoral alliance of small regional parties or their merger into large parties.
Hekmatyar believed the first set-up after the election should be a coalition government, with each party having a share based on the number of seats it has won. The parties getting less than 10 percent of votes should be barred from next elections, the message said.
Every citizen must be conscripted for a year, because Afghanistan being an impoverished country could not afford to fund the needs of a 350,000-strong army, he concluded.
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