Noor Ready to Run for President
Atta Mohammad Noor, the ousted governor northern Balkh province says he would consider running for president in the 2019 presidential elections if the leadership of Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan asked him to.
“If the leaders of Jamiat and members of Jamiat and our allies ask me to accept this responsibility, I will be a candidate,” Noor said on Sunday.
In an interview with Reuters, Noor who also serves as the chief executive of the party said that the leadership of national unity government has lost the trust of the Afghan public.
Noor also blasted CEO Abdullah Abdullah and said that Abdullah has lost trust among Jamiat-e-Islami leadership. He described Abdullah a weak leader, adding that Jamiat will no longer trust him.
“Jamiat is still united and InshaAllah it will remain united, but we will never trust Dr. Abdullah because Dr. Abdullah has proved his weakness, he has played a role in all weaknesses and has remained ignorant about all crimes. Jamiat will no longer invest in Dr. Abdullah,” said Noor.
In response to a question about his ousting, Noor said that he faced a conspiracy after talking about the bullying and corruption by the presidential palace and the Sapidar palace.
“What is my crime for them to conspire against me,” asked Noor, adding that, “my crime is that I have fought against terrorism and kept an alliance with the West. My crime is that I say “No” to the thieves and bullying of ARG (presidential palace) and the Sapidar Palace. My crime is that I want real social and political justice to be put in place all over Afghanistan.”
Amid controversy over the dismissal of Noor as Balkh governor, citizens in provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif have called on the central government to take steps to resolve the disputes as soon as possible.
“Enemy infiltration should be stopped. His Excellency, the governor of Balkh, has served the province. People want him to stay in his post,” said one resident in Balkh.
A few weeks ago, the presidential palace in said that the president had accepted the resignation of Atta Mohammad Noor as Balkh governor. Noor, however, defied his resignation.
The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) says Engineer Mohammad Dawood was appointed as Balkh governor to replace Noor. However, Noor says he won’t leave Balkh unless the government and Jamiat-e-Islami party reach an agreement.
Noor has not allowed Dawood to come in Balkh.
Back-channel Talks are Underway to Resolve the Issue
This comes at a time that representatives of Jamiat-e-Islami and the presidential palace are trying to resolve the issue of Noor’s ouster through diplomatic channels and negotiations.
On Sunday, delegations from both sides wrapped up their third round of negotiations at the ministry of foreign affairs.
According to Jamiat-e-Islami leaders, the party has recommended an 11-point to the government.
According to Jamiat-e-Islami officials, the holding of a constitutional Loya Jirga, the rolling-out process of electronic identity cards (e-NIC) on the basis of the law previously approved, changing of the system, the share of Jamiat-e-Islami in the national unity government and the presence of Atta Mohammad Noor as Balkh governor till end of the term of the National Unity Government (NUG) are among the items which have been proposed in the 11-point plan.
“We are waiting for the negotiations between Jamiat and government. We are bounded by the order and the decisions which are made by the Jamiat leadership,” said Noor.
Officials representing Jamiat in the talks include Salahuddin Rabbani, Abdul Sattar Murad, Muhayyudin Mahdi and Noor Rahman Akhlaqi. The government is represented by national security advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar, chairman NDS Masoom Stanekzai, Eklil Hakimi and Salam Rahimi.