Election delay widens govt-masses gap, say MPs
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some senators on Tuesday renewed their call for the government to announce dates for holding parliamentary and district council elections and asked President Ghani to highlight Pakistan’s support for terrorism in the ‘Heart of Asia Conference.’
Heart of Asia Conference - Istanbul Process
The Istanbul Ministerial Process was established in 2011 to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbours.
The region-led dialogue is aimed to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbours and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism.
The fourth Istanbul Ministerial Process was held in Beijing on October 31, 2014. The event co-chairs were Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani.
Today (Tuesday), the fifth conference kicked off in Islamabad, with confirmation of President Ashraf Ghani’s and the Indian foreign minister’s participation giving a new momentum to the event.
Ghani will co-chair the Islamabad meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday.
The Heart of Asia conference is taking place amid tense relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But the situation took a positive turn after a delegation of Pakistani Pakhtun nationalist leaders visited Kabul and convinced Ghani to meet Nawaz Sharif in Paris and attend the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad.
Speaking at today’s upper house session, lawmakers said President Ghani should courageously convey the conference participants what the people of Afghanistan wanted and should avoid temporary solutions.
Senator Zalmai Zabuli said: “The president should use the golden opportunity to unveil the real face of Pakistan.”
Senators Gul Ahmad Azami and Mohammad Alam Ezedyar expressed similar sentiments.
“Instability in Afghanistan will destabilise the entire region and the world. The president should highlight the role of Pakistan in breading terrorism,” said Azami.
Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar hoped the conference would yield positive outcome for the people of Afghanistan.
Senator Gul Ahmad Azami said the delay in holding parliamentary election would further widen the gap between the government and the people and make them lose hope in future governments.
“If the elections date is not specified which assembly will the president inaugurate next spring? The illegal assembly?”
Senator Nader Baloch said: “right now the lower house is working illegally and the upper house is also lacking its one-thirds members.”
The one-thirds Senate members are selected from among district council members, but the district council elections have taken place in Afghanistan so far.
Muslimyar said: “It’s the duty of government to facilitate elections and announce the dates soon.”
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