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Afghans fear political crisis to threaten peace process

Afghans fear political crisis to threaten peace process

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9 Mar 2020 - 18:10
Afghans fear political crisis to threaten peace process
author avatar
9 Mar 2020 - 18:10

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghans on Monday called the swearing-in of both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah as president in parallel ceremonies as “a shameful act”, which they feared would threaten the peace process.

The rival leaders were each sworn in as president in separate ceremonies on Monday.  President Ashraf Ghani has been declared the winner of last September’s election, but Abdullah has charged fraud in the vote.

The two ceremonies were held at the same time, Ghani’s in the presidential palace and Abdullah’s next door in the Sapedar Palace, both packed with each rival’s supporters.

In a sign of international support, Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad; Gen. Austin S. Miller, the head of US forces in Afghanistan; as well as a number of foreign dignitaries including the US Embassy’s charge d’affaires and Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary general’s personal representative to Afghanistan attended Ghani’s ceremony.

At Abdullah’s inauguration, among those present were so called jihadi commanders, who were among those who allied with the US-led coalition to topple the Taliban in 2001.

The rival ceremonies drew strong criticism from the people who feared the electoral tussle would throw the peace process into chaos.

Salim Jabbarkhelk, a resident of eastern Nangarhar province, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the parallel presidential inaugurations were a shameful act. “First they (the rival leaders) should have resolved their differences before holding such ceremonies.”

A resident of Kabul city, Ajmal Habibi, said the swearing-in of both the rival leaders could badly affect the peace process. “After decades, Afghanistan has the chance to end its conflict, but such acts will create problems in availing this chance.”

Rustam Sabir, a social media user, on his Facebook reacted: “Those who attended today’s ceremonies will be ashamed of themselves.”

A resident of southern Helmand province, Noorullah, said the peace chance should  not be spoiled and such acts of the leaders could harm the peace process.

“If we have two presidents, with whom the Taliban would talk to. If Ghani is the real president, then he should not allow Abdullah to challenge him.”

“These leaders only think about power, they are not concerned about Afghanistan, its history and the peace process,” wrote another Facebook user Javed Khan.

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