Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The government of national unity and its road ahead

Immigration News

Khaama Press
Khaama Presshttps://www.khaama.com
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.

imageHazrat Bahar has contributed this Op-Ed to Khaama Press (KP). The author can be followed on Twitter @Hazratbahar.

The first peaceful power transition (or power-sharing deal) in the history of Afghanistan took more than six months. The deal was welcomed globally, but had mix reaction inside Afghanistan. White House, NATO, UK, and Pakistan assure to continue their cooperation with newly formed government of Afghanistan. Some residents of Kabul took to street to celebrate the announcement of Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC)– Ashraf Ghani as a president and Abdullah Abdullah as a CEO. However, a professor at Herat University says, “I am not optimistic”.

The government of national unity (GNU) may have a hard and tricky path ahead at least domestically. The now team-workers once had different approaches to various issues including the Taliban. Ashraf Ghani argued that the Taliban should be incorporated through a holistic plan of reconciliation, while Abdullah Abdullah said, “I think they [the Taliban] think, the government [of Afghanistan] should be ousted”.  Having contradicted views on specific and vital issue may adversely affect the overall performance of the GNU.

New cabinet and other important posts are going to be filled sooner. The power-sharing deal may easily accomplish the appointments. Nepotism matters at least in Afghan bureaucratic culture. Both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah, for appeasing their campaigners, seem to be obliged to select from within own team. Such a heterogeneous working team per se maybe the first hurdle for GNU to tackle corruption and implement the of administrative reforms.

The six-month election impasse has faded the notion of democracy though others say it is the nature of democracy. However, we can argue the stalemate and stubbornness have questioned the legitimacy of some institutions.  The Independent Election Commission is one of them. The commission’s members were accused of ‘systemic fraud’. During the elections, counting and auditing process, IEC mostly spoke after the brokered-deals. The commission’s job was to announce the winner and votes. But the head of commission Yousuf Nooristani read a coded joint communiqué, instead.

It is widely expected that the new government will soon sign bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States. Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah had promised to sign if they win the election. Therefor, signing a BSA it is just a matter of time. This might be the reason that John Kerry willingly came twice and made around thirty phone calls to strike the deal.

Afghanistan and Pakistan relations, at least at civil governments level, may go well than Karzai government. Ashraf Ghani as an ex-World Bank economist and Nawaz Sharif as a pro-business could develop good trade relations. Such individual-based relations may not put a quick end to decades-long tense relations, particularly when it comes to Durand Line and insurgencies.

Relations with immediate neighbors in Central Asia could go smoother. The selection of Abdul Rashid Dustam as a first vice-president was generally perceived and propagated to have functional relations with Turkmenistan. Abdullah as a Chief Executive can strengthen economic and political relations with Iran. A regional and important player, India is already a strategic partner of Afghanistan

To conclude, we can argue that the GNU would work far better vis-à-vis neighbors, regional and international players than intra-Afghans players and stakeholders.

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