Presidents Ashraf Ghani, along with high-ranking officials, including CEO Abdullah Abdullah and other politicians, attended a ceremony on Saturday to mark the 29th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
Addressing guests at the event, Ghani not only spoke about the Mujahideen’s victory in ousting the Soviets but also discussed current issues facing government – including that of elections, electronic national identity cards and the peace process.
On the issue of elections, Ghani stated these polls, parliamentary and district councils, have to be held on time.
Last year, the IEC set the date for the elections as July 7 this year.
Ghani meanwhile went on to say that government leaders are not intent on “monopolizing power”.
“Afghanistan is not monopolized by anyone. Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan nation. Our Constitution has solved the fundamental issue of power formation,” Ghani said.
Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar also addressed the event and said government is being controlled by a certain political movement. But he called for a transparent election without “foreign interference”.
“We are not in government until elections are held so that we can bring change in government through this route. Let me say it clearly that government is under the monopoly of our rivals,” Hekmatyar said.
Other speakers indirectly pointed to the rift between Kabul and ousted Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor.
“We should solve any political and national issue through a practical way and by a measured political decision. Any emotional, hurried, ethnic or party-based decision will plunge the country into a crisis,” said Second Vice President Sarwar Danish.
“Leave failed politics, put aside your dialect of war, leave the warning policy,” Hekmatyar said.
Unlike in the past, prominent Jihadi leaders were noticeably absent from Saturday’s event – including Mohammad Mohaqiq, Mohammad Karim Khalili, Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, Sebghatulalh Mujaddedi, Sayed Hamid Gailani and other senior Jamiat-e-Islami members.