First-ever opposition party vows to fight challenges
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former jihadi leaders, ex-senior government officials and politicians on Friday announced the establishment of the country’s first opposition party they named “Afghanistan’s Protection and Stability Council (APSC)” aimed at pressuring the government to deliver on its pledges.
The opposition party, the first since 2001, comprising former jihadi leaders, members of parliament, former government officials and political parities leaders held the council’s maiden meeting in Kabul.
Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, a veteran former jihadi leader on the occasion said the need for establishing the council was felt given the current political and security landscape of the country.
He said members of the council would struggle to bring about security, stability, preserve the national unity and fight against challenges the country faced.
“We created the council after the country’s situation got worsen with each passing day and it is a sin to watch the situation as silent spectators,” Sayyaf, also the leader of his own Dawat-i-Islami party, said.
He warned if necessary steps were not taken, the troubled situation of the country would reach a point where it would be impossible to control.
Sayyaf mentioned calling a Loya Jirga to amend the Constitution, electoral reforms, Wolesi Jirga and district council election, security and economic reforms and others as major demands of the council.
The former jihadi leader said the council was ready to help the government implement all its programmes aimed at improving governance, security and economic development of the country.
He said the country’s security forces were rendering sacrifices in line of duty to protect the country and asked the government to pursue a clear cut policy on peace and stability.
He said the government should define its enemy and its policy for peace talks with the Taliban.
Abdul Rauf Ibrahim, Wolesi Jirga speaker, talked about the objectives behind the establishment of the council.
He said the council would work and support efforts at protecting Afghanistan’s territorial integrity, establishing economic and social stability, bringing durable peace and security.
He said other objectives of the body were to fight against national and religious discrimination, to protect national, Islamic and jihadi values and fight against existing challenges.
The lower house speaker said bringing reforms, supporting security forces, fighting corruption, drugs, respecting human right and women’s legal rights, freedom of speech in line with the constitution were part of the council’s manifesto.
He said the council would stress on economic growth, elimination of poverty, generation of jobs and protection of the achievements made over the past 13 years.
Ibrihimi said the council believed in cordial relations with neighbouring, Islamic countries, the international community and fighting against terrorism would be its priority.
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