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Only Loya Jirga can protect Afghanistan from precipitous fall: Ex-Kabul governor

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Former governor of Kabul province asked the National Unity Government (NUG) to convene the traditional Loya Jirga to discuss the outstanding issues and explore ways to overcome the existing challenges.

Abdul Jabar Taqwa in an exclusive interview with Afghanistan Times said that only the traditional Loya Jirga can end the crisis in the country.

He said the NUG should pave the gourd for holding such Jirga as President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah had already signed the agreement in this aspect when were forming the government.

The ex-governor said that the Loya Jirga should elect a new leader for the country and lead the country towards development. Expressing concerns over the current political, economic and security situation, he said that there is need for a new leader if the NUG could not bring reforms.

“The prevailing political, economic, security and military situations are of serious nature. The NUG leaders shall bring reforms and take concrete steps to resolve the problems; a new leader shall be elected by the traditional Loya Jirga,” he proposed.

Large-scale migration of the young Afghans, killing of Afghan civilians and security forces are the indicators that the government is going in wrong direction.

“The sons of this nation are killed while the son of the NUG leaders is living abroad. Thus, there is need for a new leadership that should be elected by the traditional Loya Jirga. The Jirga will devise new policy for the country through the new leader. This [traditional] Loya Jirga which will be comprised of representatives of the Afghan nation can establish a new legitimate and strong government which is need of the hour,” Taqwa said.

The former governor said that the regional countries would take Afghanistan seriously if there was strong government.

Regarding unemployment, he said the government should seek ways to provide employment opportunities to young people and amend the labor law and investment law. Public sector had to be supported furthermore in addition to the private sector to overcome the problem of joblessness.

Responding to a question he explains that political situation is as critical as the economic condition. “The regional countries use jobless youth as cheaper troops in order to insecure Afghanistan. These countries have made Afghanistan a jumping pad to achieve their goals,” he maintained. He advised the government to revise its economic policy and attract investment in order to create employment opportunities. He said if the government failed to overcome the issue then it would be criticized further.

Appreciating the international community for the financial support to the Afghan government, Abdul Jabar Taqwa said that the country will not be dependent on foreign donations forever. Therefore, new ways should be explored to strengthen the national economy.

Taqwa, who is also member of the Afghanistan Governors Association (AGA), said that all members of the AGA are agree to ask the government for holding the traditional Loya Jirga in order to prevent the country from going deep into the chasm of problems.

He said that if the government failed to change its policy and ensure good governance then the AGA would be left with no other option but to ask the NUG leaders for the traditional Jirga.

A few days ago, the ex-governor said that by killing time the government would miss opportunities and the country would face more challenges. He said that foreign hands were trying to exploit Afghans for their own interests.  “Therefore, there is need for wise steps to deal with such serious challenges,” he said.

Taqwa said that there was lack of coordination among provincial officials, adding that maladministration at provincial level could be one of the factors responsible for increase in insecurity in the provinces.

He said that if a governor drafted a plan, the police chief and the army commander would not follow it until they get permission from the ministries of Interior and Defense. The ex-governor proposed that the government should bring changes in the provincial administrative structure to resolve the problem.

Members of the parliament are caretakers, affairs of several provinces are run by the acting governors and some acting ministers are also part of the government. The issue of caretaker is annoying public and multiplied problems, he said, suggesting that the government should announce date for the parliamentary election.

Talking about the mass exodus, he said that young people are leaving the country due to unemployment and insecurity. Daily hundreds of young Afghans wait in queues in front of embassies to get visa while others go to Nimroz province to enter into Iran. Despite the risks, youth want to go to developed countries. He urged the government to address the issues as soon as possible.

The AGA was established during President Hamid Karzai’s tenure and is comprised of 65 former and 15 serving governors and three ministers. He said that the idea of establishing the AGA came to his mind after visiting Turkey where such union was already formed. He said the body is registered with Ministry of Justice.

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