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National unity suffered under Ghani, says Abdali

National unity suffered under Ghani, says Abdali

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Nov 15, 2018 - 15:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): “If peace truly comes to Afghanistaninfo-icon with the establishment of an interim government, I am ready to support that,” says Shaida Mohammad Abdali, a potential presidential candidate and former ambassador to India.

Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview on last Tuesday, Abdali said national unity and peace of Afghanistan suffered badly during the past four years under President Ashraf Ghani.

Abdali, who served as Afghanistan’s ambassador to India for six and a half years, said he returned to the country in compliance with demand of the people of southern Kandahar province.

On return to his country, Abdali held a series of meetings with tribal elders from Loyi Kandahar. He said he was now in talks with political parties, civil societyinfo-icon activists and alliances in Kabul to restore national unity and enhance peace across the country.

“Unfortunately the national unity in the county was damaged in the past four years,” he said, adding Kandahar elders had demanded him to contest the presidential election.

Abdali said it would be decided later whether or not he should contest the presidential vote as a candidate or support another candidate.

He said talks were ongoing on a presidential ticket in case he opted to contest the poll, saying his team would have representation from all tribes in order to enhance national unity in the country. To a question, Abdali said it would be premature to say who would be his running mates.

The former envoy said the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) lost people’s trust for its own mistakes, but hoped the commission would work hard not to repeat past mistakes in the upcoming presidential election.

He also hoped the IEC would address all complaints about the recent Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon polls and bring reforms. He warned if the IEC did not address people’s complaints it would further lose trust among people.

The former ambassador said though there was no constitutional bar on the number of presidential candidates, yet a less number of contesters would be in the country’s interest keeping in mind the current situation.

About President Ghani last four years presidency, he said the people would give their verdict about his performance on April 20 next year, the date of presidential election.

Under Ghani, he said the Afghans suffered huge difficulties and their unity and peace harmed. About Kandahar people’s complaints against President Ghani that they were not given enough representation in his administration, Abdali said only promises were made with the people of Kandahar and therefore their economic and security situations deteriorated.

When asked about a interim governament as proposed by US speical envoy for Afghanistan reconcilation Zalmay Khalilzad, Abdali said if true peace could come to the country, he would support the idea.

He said Afghanistan should be the area of cooperation not confrontation for China, Pakistaninfo-icon and Russia. Abdali called India as the only country that offered its assistance with full sincerity.

According to him, India has donated above $3 billion to Afghanistan in civil and military sectors.

Referring to Iran’s Chabahar port, he said the port was constructed with India’s hundreds of million US dollars investment and connected Afghanistan with the worldinfo-icon.

Currently, 160, 00 Afghan students have been studying in India and around 60000 others have graduated from different universities there. He termed relations with India as important.

pk/ma   

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