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Peace must replace election to prevent conflicts: Politicians

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: Politicians and leaders of different political parties on Monday said that there are unprecedented opportunities in the ground to reach peace in Afghanistan, thus the government must put the peace process on top agenda rather than ongoing elections.

According to them, peace—an essential ingredient that prevent any sorts of conflicts, and the government must focus and give priority to the process.

They believe that the elections won’t be free, fair and nationwide, accusing the government for sabotaging the peace process via conducting fraudulent elections.

The upcoming presidential elections has been slated for 28 September, where many candidates already begin electoral campaigns, while many others casted doubt over transparency of the process, and some others say a possible peace deal is on way, where election could not be held.     

In regard to peace talks, they said currently serious efforts underway inside the country, as well as in the region and international levels with already progresses have been reported during talks.

However, they said the government acting in contrary to the will and demand of Afghan masses which is peace and engaged in lobbying for an election that even can’t guaranty its transparency.

Former Head of the Independent Commission for the Supervision of the Implementation of the Constitution ICSIC, Gul Rahman Qazi said majority of the people want peace.

“Once peace prevail, opportunity will be smoother for launching free, fair and nationwide election—a process to include the real intention of Afghan masses and everyone could take part in voting.”

According to him, architected and rigged polls will bear nothing but rather to keep war to be continued, as well as killings, destructions and to give more ground for foreigners to further interfere.

Calling discords among Afghans and parties one of the main factor behind four decades of conflicts, he urged all Afghans to keep unity in order to make decision over the fate of the nation.

Chairman of Shurae-Aali Rah-e-Nejat Afghanistan (Afghanistan High Council of Salvation) Mawlawi Sayed Akbar Agha said progresses have been reported about Doha talks between U.S. peace envoy and Taliban negotiation team. Noting progress, he said the peace process must not be sabotaged.

“If such talks intentionally sabotaged, then it would be a big oppression with the nation. People’s wish and demand is peace and this must be respected,” he added.

He stated that peace should not be sacrificed for election rather polls could be as according to him, the doorsill of peace talks, election won’t have a clear meaning.

The Afghans losing their beloved ones, and they (nation) feel the negative implication of conflict, and must express their voice for peace, he added.

He called of inclusion of Afghans in the peace process, and the authority should be given to the people in the process. Talking over intensification of violence, Akbar Agah called on both sides to reduce operations and other sorts of conflict in a bid to smooth way for peace talks.   

Head of Solayez Badlon Society of Afghanistan Dr. Farooq Aazam, said the government must be on the same page as people’s expectation in the peace process. “Ongoing election won’t resolve any issue, but rather will lead to continuation of conflict.”

Hinting toward 2014 presidential election, he said presidential election before peace will be full of fraud just like past elections.

Member of Executive Council of Islamic Party of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zaman Muzamil termed peace as the only remedy to prevent conflicts, urged the government to work for peace at this time rather than going to election.

Wolesi Tahreek (People Movement) Head, Abdul Hakim Noorzai said currently there is two ways— election and peace process, but peace process is the way where all Afghan people support it. “If we go for election, in fact we chose conflict, and we select commander to carry this war through election.”

Chairman of Harkat Islamic Party, Sayed Hadi Hadi said the management of peace must be in the hand of Afghan people.

He said all political parties, movements, national figures and people must be united in order to follow their responsibilities in a proper manner regarding peace in the country.     

On the other hand, U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad in his tweeter days ago said “to resume peace talks with the Taliban I reached Doha, we are looking for a peace agreement not pullout agreement, peace agreement to pave the ground for pullout. Our presence in Afghanistan is conditional and any pullout will depend to conditions.”

He added, “Taliban has shown signs of willingness for agreement and we are ready for reaching to a good agreement.”

Political parties and politicians have insisted over peace to be given top priority than election, while presidential campaigns have already begun last Sunday amid continuing violence and political uncertainty in the country.

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