Government and Jamiat-e-Islami have not held any talks in the last 10 days, but both sides stressed the need toresume negotiations.
Govt-Jamiat Talks Stop ‘Temporarily’
The negotiations between the National Unity Government and Jamiat-e-Islami party have stopped in the last 10 days due to “a busy schedule of government’s delegation”, a senior member of Jamiat said.
However Jamiat and government have not been able to reach consensus on two issues, said Abdul Sattar Murad, a senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami. The remaining demands, Murad said, have been accepted by government.
The party has submitted a 12-article draft which outlines its demands in order to end the rift and whether to keep Atta Mohammad Noor as Balkh governor.
“Right now, everything depends on government’s stance,” Murad said. “No doubt, Jamiat’s demands will guarantee political stability in the country.”
The National Unity Government believes the talks must continue until the two sides reach an agreement. However, government has not mentioned a date for restarting the discussions.
“Their (government and Jamiat’s) talks are ongoing,” Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal said.
So far government and Jamiat have held at least eight rounds of talks during the past one and a half months.
“We are hopeful that the disagreements will end through talks so that more concerns are not created for the people,” Faisal told TOLOnews.
Analysts meanwhile called for a swift end to the political standoff between President Ashraf Ghani and Atta Mohammad Noor.
“If their demands are peaceful and they have fewer differences in their views, then it is quite natural and legal. But the disagreements between Jamiat-e-Islami and government have crossed their legal and cultural boundaries,” political affairs analyst Habibullah Janibdar said.
The rift between the two sides started when Ghani removed Noor from his position as governor of Balkh late last year. Since then, Noor refused to leave his position, insisting that he is part of the coalition to create the government of national unity following the controversial presidential elections in 2014.
Some of Jamiat’s demands mentioned in a draft agreement of the National Unity Government and Jamiat-e-Islami are as follows:
• Establishment of a constitution amendment commission based on the political agreement of the National Unity Government (NUG)—in response to this, government has agreed to create such a commission in the near future and the commission will propose the necessary amendments in the constitution within six months.
• Considering amendments in the election law and giving share to the political parties in the national assembly before next year’s elections—the two sides have not agreed on this issue.
• The re-election of members of the election commissions, but the two sides have not agreed on it, however they have agreed to bring about the necessary reforms in the election commissions.
• Both sides have agreed on holding the elections as per schedule this year.
• Holding the constitutional amendment Loya Jirga, the Grand Assembly, after the parliamentary and district council elections and before the presidential elections, but the two sides have agreed that if the preconditions are implemented completely, the Loya Jirga can be held after the presidential elections.
Jamiat-e-Islami says that the party has not reached any kind of settlement with the presidential palace’s negotiators about the rolling out process of electronic ID cards.
• Giving share of Jamiat-e-Islam in the national unity government based on the NUG political agreement—the government has agreed that the Balkh governor and police chief must be determined on the basis of a recommendation by Jamiat-e-Islami. Negotiations were also held on two ministries, but talks were not held on certain candidates who will occupy the two ministries.
• Providing clear information about the nature of the attack on the funeral ceremony of Salem Ezedyar. The special commission which was tasked to investigate the incident will brief Jamiat about the attack, if Jamiat is not satisfied about the outcomes, the investigations will continue.
• The two sides have agreed on the establishment of a High Council of Political Parties.
• The two sides also agreed to create a joint commission to oversee the implementation of the agreement between the government and Jamiat-e-Islami within the framework of a specific timeline.
• Extension of the tenure of Atta Mohammad Noor as governor of Balkh until ARG and Jamiat-e-Islami reach a final settlement—the two sides agreed that if key items of the proposals are accepted by government, in this case, Noor will step down from his post.
• Jamiat has proposed the overseeing of the agreement by the US ambassador to Afghanistan and UN delegation, something the government rejected. But Jamiat has asked the president to give assurance about the agreement at a press conference.