Sherzai has reneged on vow to quit: Qadeer
JALALABAD (PAN): Lawmaker Zahir Qadeer on Monday accused Nangarhar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai of backing out of his repeated promise to resign.
Qadeer, a powerful figure in the eastern province, led protests against Sherzai in April this year, calling for the governor to be dismissed. The MP said he would never compromise on issues of national interest
The protestors, including some members of parliament, kept all roads leading to Jalalabad, the provincial capital, blocked for several days, prompting the central government to intervene.
They accused Sherzai of involvement in land-grab incidents and other corrupt practices, which they believed had been a reason behind insecurity in the province.
Days after the protests came to an end, a big assembly of tribal elders, MPs and provincial council members asked the central government to determine Sherzai’s fate.
Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, 1st Deputy Speaker of Wolesi Jirga Mirwais Yasini and legislator Haji Hazrat Ali, Zahir Qadeer, Faridoon Momand and others attended the gathering.
The gathering decided to continue agitation until Sherzai was unseated. Three months on, Sherzai continues to be in office and no new protests against him have been staged, creating doubts about a possible deal between the two sides.
But Qadeer denied any patch-up with Sherzai, saying they remained firm and would never compromise on matters of national interest.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Qadeer recalled the anti-Sherzai protests had been staged in line with elders’ demand. “I am a public representative, it is my duty to resolve people’s problems and that’s why we staged the protests.”
Following the protests, Nangarhar lawmakers in both houses held a meeting in Kabul, where they decided to share the issue with President Hamid Karzai.
Qadeer claimed Sherzai had sent them many delegations to negotiate a deal, but they vehemently rejected the proposal. “We had a meeting with Sherzai in Kabul. He promised to resign because he intends contesting the presidential election.”
He said he had long been trying to have a meeting with Karzai. He had repeatedly phoned Muslimyar, but he did not respond, said Qadeer, who reminded Sherzai of his promise to resign.
Qadeer said the governor once again renewed his promise to discuss his resignation with the president, but was yet to do so. “Karzai is expected to reshuffle governors on Wednesday and we are awaiting his decision.”
He said Sherzai had been in Kabul and the people of Nangarhar clung to their stance. He warned of resuming protests if Sherzai was not replaced.
Qadeer blamed the deteriorating security situation in Nangarhar on incompetent police leadership, saying the problem would continue as long as the police chief was there.
The legislator said he lately had been faced with numerous political issues, including conspiracies against him by some circles. “We have a so-called democracy in Afghanistan, where in fact dictatorship is in place.”
Provincial council member Zabihullah Zmarai said the gathering in Jalalabad had announced Muslimyar would be meeting Karzai on the Sherzai issue.
“A number of elders have cut deals on the issue, leaving it unresolved,” alleged Zmarai, who denied similar charges levelled against him. “As a Nangarhari, I am ready to be held accountable.”
This scribe tried to seek comments from Sherzai and his spokesman, Ahmad Abdulzai, but in vain. Muslimyar, Momand and others who had been part of the anti-Sherzai protests and meetings, refused to comment.
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