I can’t be removed by force, says Balk governor
KABUL (Pajhwok): The governor of northern Balkh province, asserting his massive public following, has said he cannot be removed from his position by force.
In an interview published in The New York Times on Sunday, Atta Muhammad Noor said would be ready to quit as soon as Ashraf Ghani reappointed him to the slot.
He was effectively fired 18 months ago when the president announced the sacking all governors. However, the powerful political actor has refused to resign the job he has held since 2004.
“I should be given my approval letter from the president…then we decide about it,” said the former jihadi leader, whose loyalists recently clashed with supporters of Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
A week back, backers of both strongmen rallied in Mazar-i-Sharif in a show of strength over the removal of billboard photographs of VP and the governor.
It was a conspiracy to disrupt peace in this city. I don’t want to boast about my achievements, but this is the only province in the country that is doing great in terms of security, development, reconstruction and so on. They could not accept this and want to ruin it. ...
Noor told NYT he was required to resign, “we decide what to do next and who should become governor here. They cannot remove me by force -- I am with my people.”
While denying cutting a deal with Ghani on standing down, the governor said they had twice discussed changes. Noor said he had informed the president he did not want to be governor forever.
“I gave an example that if still water is left in one place too long, it will start to stink. But I also told him, “I don’t want to be a victim of your campaign slogans,” he explained.
The last presidential election was the most rigged vote in the world, he alleged, sayingthe sitting government had been installed based on a political accord between Ghani and CEO Abdullah.
The two-year agreement will remain effective for four more months, according to Noor, who alleged a mockery had been made of the government and the people’s will.
“Although our team is in government, unfortunately they don’t listen to us. The political agreement is not being implemented, unfortunately.”
He regretted that apart from the creation of the cabinet, nothing other parts of the deal had been implemented yet. The CEO was not taken into confidence on decisions at the national level, Noor complained.
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