Masoud urges efforts at calling ‘emergency Loya Jirga’
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former minister of tribal affairs Shahzada Masoud has said the government should start efforts at convening a Loya Jirga as part of the national unity government deal as soon as possible.
Under the national unity government agreement between then presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, their government would call a Loya Jirga into session in two years to amend the Constitution and a create a new post of a prime minister.
But Masoud told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that there were no indications the government was convening the Loya Jirga.
Then advisor to former president Hamid Karzai on tribal affairs believed peace could not be achieved until there was a strong government and national leadership.
He said a strong government and leadership could come into being through the Loya Jirga. Masoud urged the unity government to launch efforts at convening the Loya Jirga in understanding with political and former jihadi leaders.
“Keeping in view the current situation and crises and considering the national unity government agreement between the two leaders, it is high time to call an emergency Loya Jirga,” Masoud said.
He said the Loya Jirga could not be called into session because the parliament term had ended and district councils did not exist. Therefore, he said an emergency Loya Jirga should be convened.
For this purpose, he suggested, a commission which had previously worked for organising Loya Jirgas and was acceptable to the people should be tasked with convening the emergency Loya Jirga.
Masoud believed if convened the Loya Jirga would help improve Afghanistan’s relations with neighbouring countries, the international community and particularly with the United States.
He said elections were another good alternative but elections were impossible under the prevailing situation and people had lost failed in polls.
He also urged former president Hamid Karzai to make efforts as a statesman alongside other Afghans for convening the Loya Jirga.
“The country’s security and economic situation is not good and we don’t see good governance. That’s why there is no better option than convening a Loya Jirga to resolve the issues.”
But he said the whole nation was proud of their national security forces and strongly supported them, urging the Afghans to join hands like brothers and strike unity among their ranks.
Political analyst Mohammad Hassan Haqyar said he was a supporter of convening a Loya Jirga, but said the proposed jirga should not only discuss the government system, but should also find solution to the ongoing conflict.
He said the unity government faced multiple problems and challenges and had no significant achievement so far and if the regime convened a Loya Jirga in this situation, it could find itself in trouble.
The analyst said some people outside of the government were also talking about the convention of a Loya Jirga in order to put pressure on the government. “The most vocal supporter of convening a Loya Jirga was Dr. Abdullah, but now he is tight lipped about this.”
Another political analyst and civil society activist Khushal Khalil also agreed with convening a Loya Jirga but said the jirga could only be called under specific conditions.
He said the government was unable to distribute national identity cards, how could it convene a Loya Jirga. He said making calls for convening a Loya Jirga would further disturb people’s mind.
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