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Kabul has 2 months to clarify position on IIU

Kabul has 2 months to clarify position on IIU

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Oct 28, 2018 - 19:38

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The International Islamic University (IIU) could be transferred to another Muslim country if the Afghan government fails to clarify its position on the campus construction, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) official said on Sunday.

Wishing anonymity, the official said in line with principles of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), any decision of the organization could be revoked if it was not implemented in seven years.

Back in 2012, the OIC in its heads of states summit in Egypt decided the construction of IIU in Afghanistaninfo-icon and funds for the facility would be provided by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The then Afghan government allocated a place for IIU construction in Chahar Asyab district of Kabul, but the location proved to be controversial and someone claimed its ownership.

Then President Hamid Karzai tasked a delegation to resolved the issue, but the delegation was unable to resolve it.

In 2013, the Afghan Cabinet headed by Hamid Karzai decided to build the IIU in Nangarhar province and a place was devoted and the foundation stone laid.

But President Ashraf Ghani during a Cabinet meeting on October 24 decided to transfer the IIU back to Kabul. A delegation was tasked to search land for the university in Chahar Asyab or Technology Park and present its report in the next Cabinet meeting.

According to the Afghan diplomat, just two months are remaining in the seven years after which the OIC decision would be invalid.

What should the government do if IIU is built in Nangarhar?

  1. The government would suggest to the OIC’s upcoming heads of states meetings to be held in January 2019 the transfer of IIU from Kabul to Nangarhar and present a satisfactory argument to the change in the resolution of the organization.
  2. If the change is accepted at the OIC heads of State meetings, the government is required to present the issue in foreign ministerial meeting of OIC in March 2019 for more analysis.
  3. If the foreign ministers agreed on the issue, it would be brought under discussion in 2020 OIC heads of states meeting in Africa.
  4. If the president gets the agreement of heads of states on the transfer of the IIU, then the IDB would arrange meetings to generate funds for the construction of the university.

What the govt should do if the university is to be built in Kabul?

  1. The government should at least allocate 150 acres of land for the university in Kabul.
  2. The government should break the Cabinet’s 2013 decision and make a new decision.
  3. The government should present the new decision with valid reasons to OIC conference of foreign ministers in March 2019.
  4. If the OIC conference approves the decision, the ADB should hold a meeting of donors and practical work on the university would then be started in late 2019.

Islamic International University in the past were built in Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka and Morocco.

The above statements show if the university is built in Nangarhar, it would be built in 2021 or 2022 but if the plan changes and the university construction is approved in Kabul, then it would be built in 2019.

Advantages of the university to Afghanistan

  1. It would create jobs and educationinfo-icon opportunities for thousands of Afghans.
  2. Besides Afghanistan, students from 57 countries would study in the university and that would improve the country’s economy and make its political relations better.
  3. It would improve academic side of Afghans.
  4. The OIC provides 10$ million for the university’s expenditures every year.

On the other hand, Mohammad Haroon Seddiqi, a civil societyinfo-icon activist, told Pajhwok that implementing such major projects required a strong government.

“It is a good opportunity for the government, we should never lose it,” he said. He said Afghanistan’s international credibility would also increase and security situation would improve with the implementation of the university project.

Government’s response:

Faizal Amin, spokesman to the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), told Pajhwok that building such universities required legal and legislative documents, professional studies, security and fundamental research and the MoHE had discharged its responsibilities in this regard.

About time limitation in starting work on the project, he said: “We will for sure lose this project if the organs concerned neglected and delayed it, but the MoHE is trying not to lose it.”

He said it was not important where the project should be implemented, but the important was that it should not be lost.

Amin said reviewing legislative documents of the project had been completed and teams appointed to process fundamental stages.

A number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon members and other Afghans also stressed the university should be built in Nangarhar province.

nh/mds/ma

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