The final round of talks between Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan and the presidential palace (ARG) have hit another deadlock as negotiators from the two sides failed to reach consensus on some key issues that appear to have prolonged the weeks long stalemate.
The two sides have still not reached an agreement over some core points related to a constitutional Loya Jirga, the rolling out of electronic identity cards and equal share for political parties in the elections, officials of Jamiat leadership council said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Atta Mohammad Noor, the ousted governor of Balkh province has warned they will stage mass but peaceful protests until their demands are met.
“We will organize three-day protests on 27, 28 of February and on first of March, our civil movement will be very strong and it will break the hearts of those in the palace, we all will move to Kabul for one day to raise our voices to the world, UN and the international community; on that day, we will get our rights,” said Noor.
He said government has committed negligence by not honoring the demands of the people and Jamiat. He called on the public to participate in the protests.
“The demands of Jamiat must be accepted, Jamiat will not backtrack on its demands and this is the right of Jamiat,” said Noor.
Referring to the issue of Taliban insurgency, Noor said that the Taliban earns about $200 million a year from drug smuggling.
“Eighty percent of opium is produced in Afghanistan, what kind of government is this. Based on a US military report, the Taliban gains $200 million annually from drugs, this includes almost 40 percent of the Taliban’s budget,” Noor said.
Noor accused government leaders of dictatorship.
Over the past two months, the two sides have held ten rounds of talks in a bid to remove the political impasse that erupted in the aftermath of Noor’s dismissal as Balkh governor by President Ashraf Ghani. But no breakthrough has been achieved.
But, the presidential palace has reiterated that Noor’s case will be tackled on the basis of the law.
“We hope that the delegation of the presidential palace finds a settlement to the issue,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman to CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
Information obtained by TOLOnews in January indicated that Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan and the presidential palace (ARG) reached an agreement on at least seven demands out of twelve tabled to government by the party.
“Government is not willing to find a settlement to the issue, because government is engaging in problems in different areas, similar problems exist in Kandahar province,” said former presidential advisor Ahmadullah Alizai.
“There are some elements around Ustad Atta who give him the wrong suggestions, if he (Atta Noor) acts on their suggestions, he will be sacrificed. Those who see their interests alongside Mr. Atta give him these suggestions, it is better that the government offers a post to Mr. Atta and resolves the issue,” said political analyst Dawar Nadi.
Jamiat’s proposals included:
• Establishment of constitution amendment commission
• Amending the election law and giving shares to the political parties in the national assembly
• The re-election of members of the election commissions
• Holding the parliamentary and district council elections on time
• Holding the constitutional amendment Loya Jirga
• Rolling out the e-NIC based on the law already approved
• Considering the share for Jamiat in the National Unity Government (NUG)
• Providing credible information about the nature of attack on the funeral ceremony of Salem Ezedyar
• Establishment of high council of political parties and groups
• Establishment of a joint commission between NUG and Jamiat-e-Islami
• Extension of the tenure of Atta Mohammad Noor as governor of Balkh until ARG and Jamiat-e-Islami reach a final settlement
• Monitoring of the agreement by the UN and US ambassador
• Signing of the agreement by President Ashraf Ghani
In December, the presidential palace said in a statement that Ghani had approved the resignation of Noor as Balkh governor, but Noor defied the action and declared himself as the legitimate governor of Balkh.
Public calls for resolution of dispute
“During election campaigns, they all made promises to the people, but now that they have gotten posts, they have forgotten their commitments to the public,” said a member of Jawozjan provincial council Halima Sadaf.
“The insurgents exploit these tensions for their own interests, everyday the scale of threats is on the rise, we want government to bring an end to these tensions,” said Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, head of Faryab provincial council.