Amidst reports on Afghan politicians’ access to a draft on a new format for the country’s political future, President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said the transfer of power will happen through an election as an unchanging principle for his government.
Addressing a ceremony on the inauguration of the third year of the 17th legislative term of the National Assembly, Ghani said Afghanistan’s Constitution will decide on the future administration, not plans made by “others.”
“The transfer of power through elections is an uncompromisable principle for us. We are ready to talk about a free, transparent and countrywide election under the management of the international community. We can discuss and agree about its date,” said Ghani.
Ghani assured that no decision will be made in absence of continued consultation with the people as well as without the direct role and approval of all layers of Afghan society.
He emphasized the importance of expedition in peace efforts but said the process requires proper management and planning.
“Our experience from the past has shown that achieving peace is not a mere dream. Achieving durable peace is possible but a peace in which violence ends and political, economic and social stability is ensured, requires commitment and sacrifice,” he said, adding that he is ready for sacrifice for peace, but it will not lead to the loss of the last decades’ achievements.
He added: “By sacrificing, I mean that all personal and group interests should be put aside, and people’s interests should be prioritized and peace should be seen as a sacred goal.”
Ghani reiterated that no one could decide on dissolving Afghanistan’s institutions that are approved in the constitution.
Calling the current opportunity for peace unprecedented and unique, Ghani said Afghans want an end to the war that has continued for 42 years and that they want peace, but not the peace of the graveyard.
He reiterated that he will not allow the people’s efforts for democracy, freedom and preservation of the system to be wasted.
Ghani called on Pakistan to choose a “right path” and said, “let’s accept each other as two independent countries.”
Referring to targeted attacks on religious scholars, government employees, activists and journalists, President Ghani said the attacks in fact are attack on Afghanistan’s future, on Afghan children, and on any attempt for a brighter future in the country.
He added that these attacks are aimed at creating fear among the people for their future.