KABUL (Pajhwok): Former Finance Minister Hazrat Umar Zakhelwal has said that former President Ashraf Ghani refused reconciliation to make sure he remained in power and asked the incumbent government to allow other Afghans in the government structure and accept the demands of people.
During an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Umar said the current government should allow political activities and remove restriction on girls’ education in the country.
He said at the moment it was little difficult that the international community recognize the incumbent government as the legitimate Afghan government.
Referring to the Afghan peace process and the role of US Chief Negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, he said that Khalilzad made some mistakes but it was unfair that he should be blamed for everything.
“Khalilzad did not spoil the opportunities, unfortunately former President Ashraf Ghani and a particular group of people around him who had problem with the peace or wanted to remain in power should be blamed for derailing chances of peace,” he said.
These people did not want peace at the cost of the power they had, if the transfer of power did not happen peacefully there was the possibility of bloody war.
The former finance minister said that he supported the transfer of power through talks, adding that if it happened now the government would have had international legitimacy and people would not flee the country.
“When the system collapsed, the situation could have been much worse, there could have been incidents of revenge, but fortunately it did not happen, the atmosphere would have been tense, I know that our sisters have complains, schools were closed and there is no work opportunities, I hope that situation would change, it also possible that situation would have been worse than what we had experienced, our diplomatic relationship with the world disconnected but Afghanistan remained connected with the world, people go and come, foreigners and UN staff visits Afghanistan, if change had happened as a result of negotiation things would have been more better, everyone can be blamed for the situation and we should be still thankful for the current situation,” he said.
Umar said he was against inclusive government that the international community wanted, this formula had been experienced here and it did not had positive outcome.
He believed that incumbent government was not inclusive as well, it was the Taliban government and it could not represent the entire Afghanistan.
Umar said: “The government needs two types of legitimacy, one is global legitimacy and the other is public legitimacy, public legitimacy is more important than global legitimacy, see! In the past 40 years, we witnessed governments that had global legitimacy, but their popular legitimacy was weak and collapsed the governments of Dr. Najib and the Mujahideen are good examples, Ashraf Ghani’s government’s popular legitimacy was also completely lost. I am the supporter of form of government that has roots with the people, it is not important that the international community demand that these few faced should be included in the government.”
Referring to Ashraf Ghani’s election to the power, he said: “In 40 million populations when some claims to have won 200,000 votes and these are bogus vote, this is not a public legitimacy.”
He said people has contradictory views and complains against the government in the area of jobs generation, form of government and girls’ education but he was against taking power by force anymore.
When asked about the gatherings and meetings of some Afghan politicians in the foreign countries, he said: “They speak and give slogans from outside and I am here talk to elders on their face which one is more effective.”
Umar said he did not see sponsored meetings good and it is possible that these types of meetings are sponsored in the foreign countries because it required huge cost to organized these types of gatherings.
He said: “Bringing hundreds of people together in Tajikistan and organizing concert for them was not easy, it needed up to $600,000, I don’t know any Afghan who pay this amount from his own pocket.”
Referring to the performance of Contac Commission, he said: “This is not enough… An Afghan should also have the right to politics, the right to politics did not mean that he must be in power, not out of power, you can see in other countries there are political opponents it is not a bad term, but it was in the interest of the country, when the government or government officials are busy, they do not pay attention to their faults and mistakes and the duty of political opponents was to explore these faults, some Afghans have to say these things from outside the country when they are in the country and have the right to political activities they would say it here.”
Umar said the current government was deprived of legitimacy because the Taliban were in combat for 20 years, some countries considered them as enemies and there are anti-Taliban lobbies active outside the country.
At home, he said the government required public legitimacy for which it should open its arms for everyone, allowed other faced in the government, let people to engage in political activities and address the women education and work issues.
He said the current government was able to engage international community, adding that still it was difficult in current situation that they could get international legitimacy.
He asked the international community to approve the legitimate demands of Afghan people.