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Ghani administration accused of ethnic bias

Incumbent president Ashraf Ghani’s administration has come under criticism for systematic favoritism in high-ranking appointments to Ghani’s own ethnic group.

Appointments in diplomatic missions appear to favor those close to the president under the aegis of reforms and given the appearance of ethnic diversity. The accusation has been leveled by a Chief Executive Abdullah’s aide Omid Meisam, who alleged ‘deliberate ethnic favoritism’ in the president’s awarding of sensitive jobs.

An exposé earlier this week revealed a list of newly appointed diplomats in Afghanistan’s embassies overseas. Ex-NSA deputy Suleiman Kakar has been appointed as general consul in India’s Hyderabad city, ex-governor of Herat Asef Rahimi as ambassador to Netherlands, Humayun Azizi ambassador to France, Ghani’s secretary Mokhtarullah Mokhtar as ambassador’s aide to Canada and the list goes on.

The appointments have set off a storm of criticism even by Ghani’s former advisor Abdul Ali Mohammadi. He warned of dire consequences if this precarious situation doesn’t abate. “For years, people have been fighting favoritism and bias. No more can it be risked,” he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims diplomatic reshuffles have taken place with the intent of reforms and amelioration of affairs. MoFA’s spokesman Geran Hiwad argues the constitution grants the president the carte blanche to appoint and remove heads of diplomatic missions in foreign countries.

An Afghanistan lawyers association member Abdulwahid Farzai, however, dismisses Hiwad’s argumentation, contending that appointments according to Article 64 of the Constitution are the authority of a legitimate president not that of head of a national unity government.

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