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ED: Delayed after delayed

Once again the Presidential polls delayed. And according to latest decree, issued by Independent Election Commission, the presidential polls will be held on September 28 instead of July. Election Commission in its decree give reasons “numerous problems and challenges’ for what it states, “therefore holding the elections based on the timelines previously announced is not possible.” Justifying its decision for delaying the Presidential polls, it further states, “in order to better implement the rule of election law, ensure transparency as well as voter registration, the presidential elections, provincial council elections as well as the parliamentary election of Ghazni province will be held on September 28.” And in this respect, the IEC issued instruction to all government organs to help and cooperate to complete the task in a peaceful manner. For second time, the process was delayed. Earlier it was scheduled in April. However, President Ashraf Ghani insisted on timely election which was set for 20 July. In fact, before holding of fourth Presidential Elections, holding or convening traditional Loya Jirga is mandatory. In according to rules, regulations and commitments made in 2003-2004, the Constitutional Loya Jirga has scheduled to be arranged in end of 2017 or by mid of 2018 but unity government has turn to deaf ear such obligations. Likewise, the US led allies had also failed in honouring of its promises and commitments in this respect. The Loya Jirga constitution gathering is mandatory for addressing all sorts of anomalies in the constitution. Now when from previous September the US special envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad is engaged in shuttle-talks in connection with peace task for war-ravaged Afghanistan and some of the stakeholders especially Taliban are insisting changes in the set up for their adjustment in the political process. For such a purpose, the US envoy has also endorsed the unity government’s decision of holding Presidential elections. And now the situation seems further in complications when the US government has denied issuance of visas to two top figures of Unity Government and frequent allegations of US high ups against neighbouring Pakistan. Though Pakistan has denied but the US Secretary of State’s Mr. Mike Pompeo had accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists, who, he said, then allegedly “depart” {into India} from Pakistani soil. Such a statement on the part of Mr. Mike Pompeo seem a BIG shift in US policies as it never made such a clear statement on Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs from last four decades. Unity government’s focus on electioneering process could hamper peace talks through Ambassador Khalilzad. It is the time for Afghan leadership to demonstrate sincerity towards peace process as well as further building up consensus amongst the countrymen over issues like reconciliation and social contract regarding structure and system of war-devastated motherland.

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