Turkmens demand govt posts on population basis
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Turkmen elders on Tuesday asked the government to give the tribe representation in its new administration on the basis of its population.
The call came at a gathering attended by Turkmen tribal leaders from various parts of the country in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News on the sidelines of the gathering, Abdul Samad, the Turkmen Council’s head, said they sought their share in the new government led by President Ashraf Ghani on the basis of the tribe’s population.
He said Turkmen held positions in the new government, but they were not in accordance with the percentage of their population, which he put at more than three millions.
“We will hold similar gatherings until our tribe is given representation in the government according to our population. And if the gatherings had no impact, we will take to the streets to demand our rights.”
Balkh Turkmen Council head Haji Anwar told Pajhwok Afghan News the Turkmens had widely participated in all the previous elections and they should be given their due rights.
He said like other tribes, the Turkmens had fought against the former Soviet Union forces. “We have intelligent individuals like other tribes then why we are denied our full rights,” he asked.
Ending the gathering, the participants issued a 17-article declaration, in which they demanded government positions from ministerial slots to district administrations according to the tribe’s population share.
The cabinet nominees, which the unity government introduced to the Parliament on Tuesday for a vote of confidence, include Faiz Mohammad Osmani, a Turkmen, to head the Ministry of Haj and Auqaf.
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