Chairman of the Massoud Foundation, Ahmad Wali Massoud, has outlined various measures that could speed up the process of dialogue and bring an end to the ongoing political impasse between ARG (Presidential Palace) and Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan over the ousting of Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor.
The implementation of the political agreement, based on which the National Unity Government (NUG) was formed, can break the deadlock between the two sides, said Massoud on Monday.
This comes a week after representatives from Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan and the Presidential Palace wrapped up eight rounds of talks to find a diplomatic settlement to the issue that has divided the country since ARG confirmed that President Ashraf Ghani had approved the resignation of Noor as Balkh governor. However, Noor defied the move and said the letter he had signed was invalid and that he was still the legitimate governor of the northern Balkh province .
Massoud who is currently in Balkh to meet Noor has accused the NUG leaders of violating the 2014 political agreement on the formation of NUG. He said that the violation of the political agreement is one of the key reasons which has led to the fragile situation in the country.
“If the government wants to resolve the issues, definitely its applicable within the framework of the decision of Jamiat delegation which is travelling between Balkh and Kabul and in line with the provisions of the political agreement; it means that the political agreement must be implemented and this is the only logical and clear way to settle the issue. It is surprising why government is not doing this. If the government does not abide by the agreement it had signed, then the second option is to address the issue within the framework of a national platform,” said Massoud.
Meanwhile a number of residents in Balkh have also called on both sides to resolve their disputes through negotiations and avoid escalating further tensions while the country grapples with appalling threats from militant groups.
“Enough is enough, how much more tension,” asked one resident in Balk.
According to Massoud, the amount of dissatisfaction among the people over the NUG has significantly increased over the past few months.
He suggested the NUG leaders take steps to improve good governance, create political trust, grant more power to governors and stop the policy of removing rivals from the political process in the country to overcome challenges.
Noor was fired from his post as Balkh governor in December. He has rejected the decision and holds daily sessions with hundreds of people who announce their support to him.
About two weeks ago, leaders from Jamiat, where Noor serves as chief executive, entered into talks with ARG in the hope of reaching consensus through a peaceful settlement.
However, the two sides wrapped up eight rounds of talks, but no breakthrough so far has been reported.