Following Atta Mohammad Noor’s exit as governor of northern Balkh province, a number of residents on Sunday accused him of making a deal with the Presidential Palace in exchange for his resignation and the withdrawal of his demands.
“He misused the movement of the people to reach his own goals,” said one resident, Sami.
“In the beginning, he made some commitments to the people, but later he entered into talks with government and retreated from his promises,” added another resident, Massoud Habibi.
They allege that Noor backpedaled from his earlier stance after he sealed a deal with the Presidential Palace.
Noor who initially defied President Ashraf Ghani’s acceptance of his resignation as governor, pledged to stay in the position until certain demands were met – including one calling for the 2014 political agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) to be implemented.
Among other conditions, Noor called for the roll out of the Electronic National Identify Cards (e-NIC) in accordance with the law, that political parties be given a role in elections and that necessary amendments were brought to the Afghan constitution.
During the stalemate after he was ousted as governor, Noor told supporters: “We did not reach a conclusion regarding the issues such as electoral reforms, the share of political parties in parliament, rolling out of electronic identity cards, the amendment to the constitution and changing the centralized political system to a parliamentary system.”
At the time, Noor also called on the public to be ready for mass civil protests.
“We stand as powerful as Hindukush mountains; we are as strong as Pamir mountains,” said Noor.
Noor also warned at the time that he would not step down until his demands and the demands of Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan were met by government in Kabul.
“If our demands were not met, then you should stop thinking about Balkh,” said Noor during a gathering, referring to Ghani.
“If you (president Ghani) remain as president until the end, I will also remain as governor, we will not accept the word and order of the rootless tyrants of ARG and Jamiat will also not backtrack from its candidate, Jamiat is no longer interested in retreating, ” Noor had said.
Noor agreed to step aside after three months of tension. But sources in Jamiat’s leadership council said that Noor and the Presidential Palace had reached an agreement regarding his replacement, and that of the position of Balkh police commander, several ministries and embassies.