In the wake of steady but slow progress during sixth round of talks between US Peace Envoy and Taliban member in Qatar, it has presented both—optimistic and pessimistic scenarios that loudly indicts peace process has been shattered with some spoilers who don’t seen return of peace in their interest. There are two manifestations—one; the Doha talks brought a glimmer of hope toward ending the long years of war by giving dialogue a chance, while—second; it has unleashed a wave of uncertainty after repeatedly revocation of Taliban to hold direct talks with Afghan government. Peace talks still to bear any fruit despite the Moscow intra-Afghan talks was labeled unprecedented progress toward reconciliation with Taliban. But the peace dreams soon dashed to ground when Taliban rejected meeting Afghan delegates for second intra-Afghan talks to be held in mid-April in Doha. Taliban not only mocked the fat 250-member Kabul delegation, but also said it is an official conference in one of gulf country not a wedding party in one of hotels in Kabul. Many high ranking politicians accused the government the miss up. They blamed government for being reluctant toward peace process.
Since four decades Afghanistan has been in a whirl of unending war and unfettered turmoil, whereas peace – or at least a state of normalcy – is a distant dream. Two historic events are forward to test the fragile democracy of the country. 1—is election, and 2—is peace process. Already elections have been gripped by so many challenges, where the candidates still not sure over transparency of election. Moreover, they asked President Ghani to step down from today May 22nd warning of series consequences if he overstays. Moreover, how peace talks would evolve, what its political paradigm would be, and how regional powers would help promote peace and stability is another question.
To explore these questions, we have interviewed a prominent political figure, and former Deputy of Chief Executive Muhammad Mohaqiq, where he believes that national unity government is the main spoiler of the ongoing peace talks.
How do you explain the National Unity Government?
A government formed based on a specific condition as elections are rejected by two sides for some challenges such as lack of transparency and other elements. In this case, either candidates go for reelections or a government agreed by the two sides is shaped that can be named as National Unity Government. As the past presidential elections faced challenges like fake votes and fraud, our government was formed under a deal brokered by the world community.
Do you think government leaders such as President Ghani have fulfilled their commitments?
In the beginning, they went ahead equally in forming the cabinet, but later, Dr. Ghani started to trample other subjects of the agreement. He refused to consult with Dr. Abdullah’s team as the second part of the government over designations and grand national issues. Dr. Ghani made decisions unilaterally. All government appointments were made based on Dr. Ghani’s campaign programs and he was trying to strengthen his power against others and sideline his opposition.
What is your personal opinion about Mr. Ghani’s government?
Mr. Ghani’s government is facing challenges in all sectors. First he doesn’t observe any laws in his job. He only issues personal orders and is not bound to national and individual laws. For example; he shamelessly meddled in the parliamentary elections and held lawmakers’ swearing in inside the presidential palace that is illegal.
Are you optimistic to continuation of the National Unity Government?
The continuation of this government is not in Afghanistan’s benefit. People’s condition is ruined, people’s economy is bad, there is no security, war is going on in every province, people are escaping from insecurity and poverty, people have resorted to selling the meat of dog and donkey.
What do you consider Supreme Court’s order on the continuation of unity government?
The Supreme Court compares laws to international covenants or supervises its implementations. But nobody is authorized to interpret the constitution because it does not need to be interpreted. The constitution says that government term ends on May 22 of the fifth year, so this doesn’t need to be interpreted by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is under influence of the executive power, just as the parliament was functioning as Mr. Ghani’s secretary and was undermining the honor of the Nation’s House. The constitution has declared independencies for each of three powers and the president should obey these powers.
What do you think about peace process?
The peace process is vulnerable by two aspects: first by the government which thinks it should carry out the peace lonely. Thus, the government appoints usually its supporters for peace negotiations, and the opposite side doesn’t talk to it leading the process to impasse.
Second is Taliban’s view on Afghanistan’s matters. Taliban believe that peace could not be achieved except through war. They haven’t changed their minds and still think that everything is possible by force. But I believe that no party should offer preconditions for peace, and Taliban and Afghan politicians need to negotiate in a quite calm and intra-Afghan space.
What’s the role of government in peace process?
The government plays a sabotaging and monopoly role in the peace process. Government leaders never agreed over intra-Afghan talks and sabotaged Moscow meeting.
What is government’s sabotaging role in peace process?
There are many reasons, for example; government leaders think that peace is not in their interest, because they have the hallucination of another five-year government. Hundreds of thousands of people will be killed in this future five year, while a drop of blood should be shed in the continuation of the government.
What’s is your electoral team’s stance after legal end of the National Unity Government?
All the presidency runners issued statement and said that May 22 is the ending day of Mr. Ghani’s government and a new structure should be formed to take over government and presidential elections. This is our electoral team’s stance too. We will make decision requiring situation if Mr. Ghani didn’t accept to hand over the power.