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MPs call for national unity after protests

MPs call for national unity after protests

Dec 04, 2013 - 16:32

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members on Wednesday called for adherence to national unity, warning opportunist elements were out to take advantage of ethnic and tribal differences among Afghans at this sensitive transformation period.

The call comes after protests were carried out in Kabul and other provinces to condemn the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon’s decision dropping words religion and Afghan from the new computerized identity cards.

About two months back, the lower house had decided nationality should not be mentioned in the cards, which should instead carry the bearer’s penname and religion.

But last week, the upper house decided that penname, religion and nationality should not be written in the cards and instead stored in the supporting database, a decision that sparked protests.

However, Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar had said the Wolesi Jirga sent them two letters, one showing the decision of mentioning and the second showing not mentioning nationality in the electronic ID cards.

Wolesi Jirga deputy secretary Irfanullah Irfan confirmed sending two letters to the upper house, saying the second letter was sent because a mistake had been committed in the first letter.

The lower house on last Saturday constituted a five-member commission to determine whether the house had decided on mentioning or not mentioning word Afghan in the ID cards.

The investigation commission chief, Sadiq Ahmad Usmani, told today’s session that they went through the house archive and found the Wolesi Jirga had decided against mentioning the Afghan word.

“Neither the government nor our commissions have proposed us mentioning Afghan word then how can we make a decision on this?,” he asked.

His views were confirmed by another member of the panel, Nadir Khan Katawazai, who said the Wolesi Jirga had also decided against not mentioning word Afghan in the identity card.

A lawmaker from central Parwan province, Abdul Sattar Khwasi, said ethnic and linguistic differences would not help resolve problems being faced by the people of Afghanistaninfo-icon.

“We should consider nationality unity and avoid perusing minor issues,” he opined, and cautioned there were elements out to take advantage of such a situation in Afghanistan.

“If we are real Muslims we have to maintain national unity and do away with conspiracies being hatched against Afghanistan,” the lower house member said.

His colleague from eastern Kunar province, Wagma Sapi, said there were many people promoting ethnic and linguistic differences to serve their own agendas.

She said there was a great need for adherence to national unity given the situation of Afghanistan and said elements promoting hate among races should reform themselves.

Kamal Nasir Osoli, who represents southeastern Khost province, remarked in the absence of national unity, no tribe --- Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Tajik and others --- could alone establish a government in Afghanistan.

Badakhshan MP Abdul Rauf said those fueling diffirencecs among tribes should be brought to justice and put on trial.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the Afghans needed to work jointly for the national unity and should avoid efforts promoting hatred among communities.


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