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Govt challenges remain high than achievements: Nabil

Govt challenges remain high than achievements: Nabil

Mar 06, 2019 - 16:45

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil has accused the National Unity Government (NUG) of politicizing the security forces and running parallel institutions which put a question mark over the system’s legitimacy and multiplied economic and security challenges.

Nabil, a former spymaster, is founder of the Mehwar-i-Mardum Afghanistaninfo-icon (MMA) political party and a candidate in the July presidential election.

A total 18 persons have jumped into the presidential race, including incumbent President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Nabil.

During an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Nabil criticised the current government officials for violating the Constitution and making appointments based on ethnicity, language and tribe, something against the constitution that guaranteed equal rights and opportunities to all Afghans.

Article 22 of the Constitution says: “Any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, men and womeninfo-icon, have equal rights and duties before the law.

Nabil, while referring to the governments of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karzai, said both leaders had lost opportunities which might be resulted in economic development, political stability, social welfare and cultural development.

During Karzai’s tenure, the conditions were different as everything had to be started from zero due to destructions in the civil war that followed a dark Talibaninfo-icon regime.”

He said the post-Taliban era offered a golden opportunity to strengthen democratic institutions but it faced some challenges.

He said the achievements of the incumbent government could not be ignored, but challenges remained more than achievements.

He vowed to strengthen the system, security forces, fight against the fifth column within the government, if he managed to win the election.

He also promised to narrow the gap between mosqueinfo-icon and Presidential Palace and lead the peace process in a different manner so people believe the process was in the hands of Afghan government.

Peace Process:

About the ongoing peace process, Nabil said if elected to the Presidential Palace he would dissolve the High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) and other institutions which have nothing to do with the peace process.

He stressed the Afghan government was the only side that could talk to the opposition and lead the peace process.

He said a government delegation comprised of powerful individuals from and outside the government would be formed to lead the peace process in consultation with the Parliament.

About possible amendments to the Constitution as part of the peace process, he said such steps would not harm the rights and freedom of women in the country.

Referring to the notion that fighting and talking was not under the authority of Afghanistan, he said: “In peace talks, the sacrifices, achievements of the past 18 years and redlines of Afghanistan should not be ignored and we would look at peace as a long-term strategic goal for Afghanistan and would strive for peace with different approach.”

He termed a political and national consensus as vital for peace process and said: “No one has the right to name himself as the leader of peace efforts under ethnicity, language and party titles.”

Internal and Foreign Policies:

About internal policies formulated on the basis of internal situation, he said the implementation of law on every person would be his priority to maintain the law and order situation.

Nabil said special strategies and changes in the law were needed to deal with terrorism and organized crimes.

He hit out at the government, saying there was no unilateral policy to deal with neighbours and a tactical approach was adopted, for which the people of Afghanistan paid price.

About his team’s foreign policy, Nabil said: “No hidden interest would be considered by his government in neighbouring countries and he would stand against covert interest of neighbouring countries.”

He said Afghanistan should become a point of transaction and communication between neighbouring countries, not a place of confrontation.

He pledged to stop interferences of foreign countries in the election process and other important national issues in line with the laws and international norms and conventions.

CEO and premiership posts

Rahmatullah Nabil said no CEO post existed in his electoral ticket yet, but it could be possibly added by amending the Constitution through a Loya Jirgainfo-icon (Grand Council).

He said centralization of power should be changed and authorities devolved as well as the nation should be given representation in important national issues. “But for now, any steps in this regard are premature and against the law.”

“Considering problems of the past 18 years, it is essential to bring reforms to the system and other areas. Before discussing these issues, we should increase the authorities of deputies and governors and should elect mayors through a ballot,” he said.

Nabil stressed any changes in the structure of the system should pass through the Constitution, a Loya Jirga and public views.

Amendments to the Constitution

Rahmatullah Nabil insisted on amendments to the Constitution and said he would create a commission for providing suggestions on bringing changes to the Constitution just one week after winning the elections.

He said one of his suggestions before a Loya Jirga would be inclusion of premiership and third vice-president posts and these changes were the authority of the Loya Jirga.

He said his other suggestions included creation of a court to keep implement the amendment package and review other laws about their compatibility with the Constitution and interpretation of law. He said more authorities to governors and local administration and choosing mayors based on votes would be his other suggestions before a Loya Jirga.

Coalition with other presidential candidates

Nabil rejected rumors he was joining forces with other presidential candidates and said such statements were just propaganda.

“Our thoughts, programs and message are different from other presidential candidates, therefore I would not join any other candidate and will run independently,” he said.

He said Afghans had the ability and should go for development and acceptance and get free from the ongoing situation.

Foreigners’ role in choosing leaders of Afghanistan

Rahmatullah Nabil rejected donor countries, particularly America, had any role in determining leaders of Afghanistan and said, “We should go out of mental captivity and should not link everything to foreigners, we want to have strategic relations with the US, but I do not think they have a role in determination of Afghan president.”

He said Afghanistan had been on the verge of a critical crisis in 2014 and the US intervened to create the national unity government for prevention of the political crisis.

“In 2014 elections, it was possible Dr. Abdullah Abdullah could have been declared as president by his supporters, also backed by Hamid Karzai while Dr. Ashraf Ghani was announced president-elect by the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon). This situation could have weakened the morale of security forces and put the country in danger if the situation would not have been controlled within 48 hours,” he said.

Nabil said no foreign countries and their embassies would be allowed to interfere in internal and political affairs of Afghanistan.

Withdrawal of foreign troops

About possible withdrawal of foreign troops, Nabil said if the US left in a hurry without thinking about proxy wars and outside interference in the war-torn country, it did not mean the Afghan people could not defend their homeland and indeed they could defend.

He said the Afghanistan people suffered due to neighboring countries’ interference and the US should not leave Afghanistan and should not to stop its assistance as well.

Nabil called on the US to leave behind a good legacy in Afghanistan and in the region, otherwise the Afghans would have pay the price because terrorist groups supported by Pakistaninfo-icon beat Russia in the past and now they wanted to defeat the US. “If this issue is overlooked, Pakistan will use terrorism as a tool not only against Afghanistan but against other countries in the region as well.”

Reforms in the Electoral Commissions

About electoral reforms, Nabil said changing faces in the electoral commissions would not help but a political will, transparent polls and reforms in the electoral law could.

“The previous commissioners were also academics and civil societyinfo-icon activists, but because the system was not correct, they could not hold an election to be acceptable to all the people of Afghanistan and there were problems in the selection of new commissioners.”

He said there were professional figures among those nominated for the commissioners, but the presidential candidates chose weak ones introduced by political parties.

He said the presidential candidates, who voted to select the commissioners, were yet to be approved by the IEC to enter electoral campaign.

Concerned about electoral engineering

Nabil said: “We are concerned about electoral engineering by the president and some other candidates.”

He called on the president, presidential candidates, politicians, electoral commissioners and other electoral partners to take lessons from the 2014 elections and support transparent elections and prevent interference. .

He urged the sitting president, presidential candidates, politicians, members of the electoral bodies and others to learn from the 2014 presidential and 2018 Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon elections and support a transparent upcoming presidential election in the country.

“If this time the election moves to the wrong side, it would not only a failure of the democracy but would push the country into a political crisis.”

At the end, he urged the new election commissioners to put aside their differences and work for the people of Afghanistan and per the Constitution.




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