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If elected, Hakimi to create rule-based economy

If elected, Hakimi to create rule-based economy

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Apr 01, 2019 - 15:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Presidential hopeful Mohammad Shahab Hakimi has called for the implementation of the rule of law and efforts for peace. If elected, he will create a rule-based economy.

Hakimi worked as MDC head for many years, headed the Afghans campaign against mines and served as teacher at the Kabul University.

His presidential team includes Abdul Ali Surabi as first vicc-president and Noor-ul-Habib Haseer his second deputy. The presidential election is scheduled for September 20.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Hakimi said, if elected, he would establish a just economy. To achieve this goal, he would consider people’s suggestions and views on formulating his economic policies.

“In today’s worldinfo-icon, economy is the name of the game. Inter-state relations, educationinfo-icon, healthinfo-icon, military, politics, culture and civil societyinfo-icon reliant on the economy,” he said in response to the question why his focus was on the economic system.

Peace

He believed by reinforcing the economy, real peace would return to the country. “Peace, stability and national unity were the desire of all Afghans.

“I want a system representing all ethnic groups of Afghanistaninfo-icon. I will also consider public views that can help the peace process,” he said, supporting negotiation between the Talibaninfo-icon and the US.

“We have learnt from the 18-year conflict that peace is impossible to achieve militarily. All parties are tired of war and peace should be restored at all costs,” he stressed.

Hakimi explained if his team won the presidential election, he would pursue real and lasting peace in the country.

He argued there was a cogent reason for every war and the conflict in Afghanistan had its roots in the Bonn Conference, where the Taliban had no representative. Then actions by ISAFinfo-icon and Afghan forces led to the Taliban’s regrouping and re-emergence.

Raids on civilian homes, imprisonment of senior Taliban leaders and others at Guantanamo Bay, corruption and resettlement of some ethnic groups were fuelling war in the country, he concluded.

“When I was working at the UN, I expressed my concern at the absence of Taliban representatives from the Bonn conference. In a letter, I clearly shared my views on the issue and said we can achieve peace only if Taliban and Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistan representatives are invited to the conference. But no one cared. Later on, we saw thousands of people losing their lives to war,” he recalled.

Hakimi appreciated recent peace efforts by regional states and other countries, particularly the US. He hoped the negotiations would ultimately result in an agreement on an end to the war in Afghanistan.

The High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) has been ineffective, according to the candidate, who stressed the need for setting up a pro-people institution to advance peace talks with the Taliban and create an environmentinfo-icon of trust.

“If I win the elections, I will not let anyone claim the ownership of peace based on tribal, linguistic, political or regional considerations. The owners of the peace should be the people of Afghanistan,” he remarked.

Consultative Loya Jirgainfo-icon

A Consultative Loya Jirga for peace is scheduled for April 29. Hakimi termed the planned tribal assembly important for creating a mechanism for intra-Afghan talks. People from all ethnic groups should take part in the talks. The decisions made should offer real solutions.

The decisions made by the proposed the Loya Jirga should be endorsed by all Afghans. Those opposing the decisions should be considered outlaws, he demanded.

Foreign troop pullout

Hakimi said the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan was needed over the last 18 years; but the peace process is now the focus and US troops also desire to withdraw.

He added the steps taken in the peace process should be very precise and cautious. If the withdrawal of foreign forces could bring peace, it would be better to announce a schedule for it, he continued.

Hakimi suggested the withdrawal of foreign forces should be based on a plan and in consultation with the people. The US should equip Afghan forces before they quit Afghanistan.

Foreign policy

About his foreign policy, Hakimi said: “If I become the president of Afghanistan, I will formulate a foreign policy based on brotherhood. I will remove the current mistrust between Afghanistan and its neighbours.”

The presidential runner promised: “We will have no hidden interests in neighbouring countries. I will also not let neighbours implement their secret agendas in our country. We will set store by mutual respect in our foreign policies,” he assured.

He opined maintaining positive economic, cultural and political relations, as well as people-to-people contacts with neighbours would help address the issue of trust deficit.

Hakimi would pay more attention to the economic side of his foreign policy. He asked Afghanistan’s neighbour not to worry about threats from Afghan soil under his policy.

He stressed stronger relations between Afghanistan and Pakistaninfo-icon. “We would improve commercial and cultural exchanges and people-to-people we contacts. “We support a European=style system in the region because all their issues are shared.”

Things would not get better if Afghanistan and its neighbours call each other enemies. All sides needed to have their concerns addressed and their interests protected.

CEO & PM slots

Many presidential candidates have CEO and prime ministerial slots for team members. But Hakimi said his team was created according to the constitution and would not take steps in violation of the basic law.

He stressed enforcement of the constitution, saying: “The national unity government was formed four years ago; it was a historic mistake and we clearly violated the law.

“If I become president, I will never take any illegal steps; I will not surrender my power and privileges to anyone to win the ballot,” he said.

Asked whether he agreed with Hezb-i-Jamiat Islami party, which has the CEO and prime ministerial posts in its team, he replied: “I am neither against changing the system, nor support the current regime. Institutions should be based on the current constitution. In case of need, it it can be amended.”

Coalition with other candidates

Hakimi emphatically ruled out forging any alliance with other teams. Other runners, however, could join his team. Hakimi said with the support of the people for his programs, he was ready to contest the upcoming presidential election.

“Being real representatives of the people, we will work for improving their living standards. People will decide which teams can join us, or whether we should become part of another team.” He alleged a majority of presidential hopefuls and their deputies had done nothing in the past 18 years to promoted peace.

Election reforms

About electoral reforms, Hakimi said changing faces in the commissions would not help. Mutual co-existence and strong governance could help conduct transparent polls and reform the relevant law, he pointed out.

Most of the newly-appointed members of the electoral bodies were professional, clean and committed but interference from the government fuelled concerns among them, the presidential wannabe said. If the government did not interfere, he said, a transparent election would take place.

He called on the president, presidential candidates, politicians, election commissioners and others to learn lessons from the 2014 ballot and support a transparent vote, free of interference and fraud.

Performance of NUG

Hakimi branded the incumbent set-up as a failure in the history of Afghanistan. The current government had been in a bad of economic, political and security situation.

Hakimi slammed the current government as the weakest in the past five years, having failed to eliminate differences, resolve domestic crises or complete its cabinet.

He said NUG was not different from the Hamid Karzai government. All faces were the same, transferred from one ministry to another, he claimed.

President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah, Hanif Atmar, Rahmatullah Nabil, Zalmai Rassoul, Noorul Haq Ulumi, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ahmad Wali Massoud, Faramraz Tamana and Gulbadin Hekmatyar are in the battle for the presidency.

Latif Pedram, Ibrahim Alokozai, Ghulam Farooq Nijrabi, Hakim Torsan, Syed Noorullah Jalili, Mohammad Shahab Hakimi, Noor Rahman Lewal and Enayatullah Hafeez are also in the run for the September 20 ballot.

sa/mds.pk/mud

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