Following recent tensions between ARG and the council of presidential candidates, the deputy to Mohammad Hanif Atmar’s electoral team pointed to Moscow summit and talks with the Taliban, saying: what I got from the recent meeting with Taliban is that they have no desire for peace, pushing us to join them in withdrawing foreigners from the country.

Following recent tensions between ARG and the council of presidential candidates, the deputy to Mohammad Hanif Atmar’s electoral team pointed to Moscow summit and talks with the Taliban, saying: what I got from the recent meeting with Taliban is that they have no desire for peace, pushing us to join them in withdrawing foreigners from the country.

“A consensus needs to be made to establish a caretaker government, but Ghani wants to rule, hold the elections as well as to launch frauds in order to pave the grounds for another term for himself,” Mohammad Mohaqeq, deputy of M. Hanif Atmar and one of the country’s political faces told DID Press journalist in a special interview.

Pointing to moral corruption in ARG, Mohaqeq added that “sexual bribery is a new issue, in which, selective or appointive seats are given in exchange for sexual favours. This is an explicit attack on property, honor and dignity of the people.”

In regard to Zalmay Khalilzad’s Afghan peace efforts, he asserted that “we welcome Khalilzad’s efforts, but where it leads to, there is not much hope with existent stubbornness.”

***The full interview with Mohammad Mohaqeq***

DID: Let’s begin with the issue of differences between ARG and the presidential candidates’ council, what are your practical measures for Ghani to step down?

Mohaqeq: differences between ARG and the presidential candidates are due to the fact that Ghani wants to unilaterally continue with his illegal administration, while according to the article 61 of the constitution, the government’s tenure ended on May 22 and the elections must be held, and due to any reason, if elections are not held, a solution should be found with the consent of everyone. The current administration says that elections are not held and I continue with my work. The question is that why you did not hold the elections?

A consensus needs to be made to establish a caretaker government, but Ghani wants to both rule, hold the elections, and launch frauds in order to pave the grounds for another term for himself.

Practical steps have been made at the level of consultations and announcements to force Ghani to step down, but civil steps will begin in the coming days.

DID: The council of presidential candidates insists that Mr Ashraf Ghani must step down, while some experts reject this view, saying that if this happens, the country will once again move towards a civil war. What is your opinion?

Mohaqeq: This is the view of those who are dependent on ARG’s circles, otherwise, independent experts, candidates, and political figures say that Ghani must leave power. The system will remain, we do not say that the Ministry of Interior, Defense, and National security should stand down, but Ghani himself must quit.

DID: you and the council of presidential candidates have repeatedly criticized NUG’s policies and types of governance, what are the weak points of Mr Ghani’s governance?

Mohaqeq: one of Ghani’s weak points is that he could not provide the security. Today, armed opposition groups have dominants or influence on 50 percent of Afghan territory. There are also suicide attacks and explosions in areas under the government’s control. The second issue is about governance. All projects inside and outside the country have been carried out with corruption, while he had said that he will fight the corruption. But from top to the bottom, each of them, in turn, have a share.

The appointments are being done with the government’s intervention and bribery. For example, the IEC did not announce Kabul representatives, the national television and Ghani’s aides announced.

Sexual bribery is a new issue, in which, selective or appointive seats are given in exchange for sexual favours. This is an explicit attack on property, honor and dignity of the people

Economy is another issue. The people are either migrants or are forced to migrate due to unemployment. Some turned to drug and some intended to sell donkey’s meat or dog’s meat. If this situation continues, humans may eat each other.

DID: 2018 parliamentary election was allegedly one of the most challenging elections, do you think the current electoral commissions have the full independence to hold the presidential elections?

Mohaqeq: elections under the shadow of the current administration will not be transparent because it seeks to manipulate it. In all provinces, they have opened campaign offices and pay them from the state’s budget, government posts are given in exchange for campaigns, while it must not replace anyone lately, but recently several ambassadors have been appointed and even a minister was introduced which is corruption itself.

DID: What is your solution as the deputy of one of the presidential candidates to get out of the current situation, and if your team wins the election, what reforms will be your top priority?

Mohaqeq: these will be announced in our government’s program, which will we express, and we will carry out our activities with the consultation of the politicians.

DID: the security situation is very fragile and critical, what is your solution to improve the security status?

Mohaqeq: Our solution to the government is not practical, because Mr. Ghani does not consult with his partner. They neither understand themselves nor they provide the security. The situation is getting worse day by day.

DID: peace talks have recently received a lot of reactions while several meetings have been held regarding peace in Moscow and other countries. Rahmatullah Nabil has openly vowed that these meetings were more in favor of the Taliban, giving them legitimacy. What is your idea and how can we reach peace?

Mohaqeq: the peace process is not something we started with the Moscow summit. This process has been underway since Karzai’s term, and we have suffered a lot, millions of dollars have been spent but reached nowhere. Mr Nabil should not expect that we should conclude it in a meeting. Electoral remarks are said these days and everyone has the right to express their opinions.

To reach peace, we should try our best and intra-Afghan dialogue is one of the ways. The first Moscow meeting was a positive step as everyone sat down under the flag of Afghanistan and we held a second meeting on the sidelines of the Afghan-Russian Friendship Program, but one should not expect that everything would be concluded in these two meetings. If the Taliban were legitimized, the government’s previous interventions gave this legitimacy. They made a truce, ate ice creams, released prisoners and suicide bombers and held several rounds of talks with the US at the international levels which gave them legitimacy. We sat with the Taliban on the margins of the Afghan-Russian friendship program, only this gave them legitimacy? 

We try for peace, but what I understood from the Taliban in the recent meeting, they have no desire for peace, pushing us to join them until the withdrawal of foreigners from Afghanistan. if there would be stability and security, we do not need foreigners, but in the current situation, foreigners are moderating the stability. If wars escalated, they (foreigners) can prevent them. But if they leave Afghanistan, the government, Taliban and Mujahidin would enter a civil war. If foreigners leave, the danger of a civil war is imminent.

Taliban have no clear prospect for peace. They just insist on the withdrawal of foreigners. This way, a question raises that you (Taliban) were in war with the Mujahidin for many years before the foreigners came, what was your excuse in that time?

Problems cannot be resolved through war, but the structure of some minds is in a way which is not compatible with the peace and it cannot be imposed.

However, we should try all ways to establish peace in Afghanistan.

DID: US special representative on Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad has had several meetings with senior Taliban representatives and officials of some countries. Do you think the US wants peace to be established in Afghanistan?

Mohaqeq: we welcome Khalilzad’s efforts, but where it leads to, there is not much hope with existent stubbornness.

DID: how are your contacts with the Taliban and what is the reason that they do not accept peace?

Mohaqeq: we have no personal contacts with the Taliban, our relationship is based on peace and nation. We held meetings with them and emphasized on two-weeks ceasefire. We suggested them, in a friendly way, to come together and do not excuse foreigners. Once, we get along with each other, foreigners themselves will leave. But no gleam of hope created fora truce.

The end of first part ….


News Id: E14397