Key political leaders and former government officials on Thursday officially launched a new coalition which they say they intend to use to help resolve numerous issues including "growing instability, poverty and ethnic divisions" among other issues.
Addressing guests attending the launch of the alliance, which they call the Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor said it has been formed under the leadership of First Vice President of Afghanistan General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Jamiat Islami Chief Executive Atta Mohammad Noor, Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, and other key figures.
The alliance says it aims to work for improved governance, creating jobs, holding of transparent elections and ensuring improved security across the country.
Addressing the guests, Noor said the growing ethnic division in the country was worrying and that different flags flew in some parts of the country – instead of Afghanistan’s official flag.
Noor also called for a transparent election that was free of fraud. However he claimed of the nine million people registered to vote, more than four million are ghost voters.
Noor call on government find a solution for the current crisis with the help of political parties.
He criticized the United Nations by saying that the international body is taking sides in the current situation.
Attending the launch was First Vice President of Afghanistan General Abdul Rashid Dostum; Jamiat Islami Chief Executive Atta Mohammad Noor; Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq; former NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil; former vice president of Afghanistan Younus Qanuni; Zahir Qadir, an MP; Salahuddin Rabbani acting foreign minister and Zia Massoud former advisor to President Ashraf Ghani among others.
At the same event, the second deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqeq, said the current situation is concerning and that people are fleeing their homes.
He once again said that a big part of the country is under control of armed militants.
Noor said earlier this month that there were plans to establish the party-based coalition in cooperation with prominent political figures in Afghanistan.
At the time, Noor said if the coalition is not included in matters involving transparent elections, then the alliance will propose the establishment of a two-year interim government.
In July 2017, Noor announced the formation of a coalition known as the Coalition to Rescue Afghanistan.
Early this year, Noor was embroiled in controversy after he resigned as Balkh governor – a move President Ashraf Ghani accepted.
However, Noor refused to step down 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 Identity 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.
Noor eventually agreed to step down after three months of tension.