Afghanistan: Why Ghani is Adamant His Government Does not Collapse?
The tug of war between pro-Russia Mujahideen and pro-US seculars and leftists
Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen
Afghan writer and political Analyst based in Kabul
Mohammad Nabi son of Khairuddin was our classmate in Grade 9, once, he suddenly stood up and asked the teacher that he needs to go out, and immediately said, I swear in God, I do not get use of snuff (locally named Nusswar).
Due to the last unnecessary sentence, the teacher recognized that ignorant Mohammad Nabi wants to use snuff immediately after getting out of the class.
President Ghani says that the National Unity Government will not fall; he, before that, was saying that we do peace talks with the Taliban from the powerful position not the weak one. Besides that, he says that the economy of Afghanistan is not worsening. The interesting thing is that he says, our security forces follow aggression policy, and that the security would become better soon. The Interior Minister, Mr. Ulumi, using the Ghani’s formula, says that the security would become improved and the Taliban would become eliminated within 6 months; in the case, Rahmatullah Nabil, head of intelligence, said that the security situation would be extremely worrying in the next 6 months.
If everything is going well, thus, why President Ghani has to say that the NUG will not fall, who asked you Your Majesty about this, if you are not weak, why you are talking about powerful position, if the economy is going well, what is the need for telling, in front of the businessmen, that the economy is not going down.
Let’s have an overview on President Ghani’s promises and repeated slogans:
Ghani’s powerful government
Ghani was always promising and it was his slogan that he will have a powerful, standard government that hires experts and competent people, eliminates instrumentality, and the government that youth would have significant role in it.
He, completely, divided the government with CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah; neither Ghani nor Abdullah has full power and authority to make decisions independently, now. Those who are appointed by Ghani are often facing with opposition of Abdullah. There are still some ambassadors and governor-nominees nominated by Ghani say that 50% of their appointment procedure is completed and the other 50% is remaining, and that is the approval from CEO; now, some of nominees nominated by Ghani try to receive the approval from CEO through his friends and personal contacts.
Those who are nominated by CEO Abdullah Abdullah, most of the time, do not get approval from Ghani. As far as I am aware, a lot of appointments are taking place based on personal contacts and political ties, the foreign countries’ embassies play a huge role in this process.
The news of Hizb-I Isliami Councils that states, Ghani were providing them with 5 provincial governors but one of these councils’ members introduced these 5 governors without informing others on his own behalf, is leaked, also. This news is come out when heads of the Hizb-I Islami Councils decided to boycott with Ghani; now, it is told that Ghani has approved providing them with other two provinces, also.
The best example for his competency policy is appointing an unprofessional minister for the Finance Ministry, appointing a medical doctor for the Work and Social Affairs Ministry and appointing a minister for the City and House Building Ministry who is not an engineer and others are such unprofessional ministers, too.
President Ghani had promised that there will be an improvement in the security; he signed the Security Agreement with the US as in a hurry as Communists did in inviting the Soviet Union’s Red Army.
However, we see that security situation is getting worse day to day, irresponsible armed groups are increasing compare to past, the war is getting complicated, the armed group naming Daesh is established, All of the Central Asia’s armed individuals returned to Afghanistan from Waziristan – Pakistan and do activities in north of the country, morale of the Afghan National Army subdued very badly in Badakhshan’s Jerem District, the government lost a lot in war on Dangam, same incidents repeated in Helmand’s Sangin and Mosa Kala districts, the Taliban reached to the doors of Kunduz Province; if there was not NATO cooperation in all these wars, the government would be in a very bad security condition, now.
There is some disapproved news that, 200 individuals were killed and kidnapped in Kabul within last week, if this situation continues, which businessperson would have courage to stay in the country.
Rejecting of Ghani’s three Defense Minister-nominees (Shir Mohammad Karimi, Mohammad Afzal Loudin and Maasoum Stanekzai) by Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the Parliament), attack on Parliament when Maasoum Stakenzai was being introduced to Wolesi Jirga for the first time, however, he could not receive the confidence-vote from Wolesi Jirga when he became introduced to it for the second time on 4th of July, 2015, and rocket attacks on Qargha military camp and the University of Marshall Fahim are the things that has faced Ghani with security threats and problems inside the government.
President Ghani had promised the he will provide enough living for every Afghan, superlative propaganda for Ghani’s economic policy was done inside the country, his supporters were telling that it was Ghani’s advice to Chinese which has improved China’s economy, Ghani, in front of Putin, was describing the plans for Russian economic growth in the Russia’s economic policy and so on. As far as I know, originally Ghani is not an economist, and he has not received professional education in economics, when he was the minister of Finance, Australian professional individuals were doing everything for him, and when he separated from that ministry, it is said that Ghani kept all the data with himself and did not hand it over to the new minister.
The economy of Afghanistan is affected from neighboring countries to a large extent; nearly all of the economic agreements signed with Pakistan are in detriment of Afghan businessmen, and Afghan businessmen, after each other, go away from the country.
One of the country’s famous businessman said, he was working in the Custom Department of Kandahar during the Taliban regime, one day, two vehicles came from the Governor’s office and told the Custom Director that his presence is required by the Governor, as the Governor of Kandahar was a very angry man, so the director sent me on his behalf. There was a man, having white clothes, long beard and red and white face, sitting next to the governor; the Governor asked me, how much tax do you receive from Russian Tires (that had a special number and I do not remember it), I told him 50 dollar per ton, the Governor, pointing the man sitting next to him, said that this is a businessman, he says that I pay 80 dollar per ton as tax in order to be a benefit to the government, and you increase the tax on these tires, you should take 80 dollar as tax after that.
Employee of the Custom Department on the era and famous businessman of our time said, I told to the Governor that it is OK, this businessman would bring these tires one or two times and he would pay us 80 dollar per ton as tax, but there are other businessmen that do not pay us 80 dollars, and they would smuggle these tire to Afghanistan, then; the reason is that the tax in Pakistan would be less than us, they won’t get 80 dollars, so the entire benefit would be transferred to Pakistani businessmen, and the importing of tires to Afghanistan would decrease, Afghan businessmen would become harmed, Pakistan would become benefited. When the Governor learned the truth, he, immediately asked his armed Taliban (guards) to remove this infelicitous man from my office, he said the Pakistani Pashtun Quetta-resident businessman that if he was seen in Afghanistan after the sunset, he would be punished accordingly, and he ordered the Custom Department to reduce the tax on these tires to 40 dollar per ton.
Right now, Pakistani cloths and medicines are smuggled to Afghanistan because the tax is being increased by the Afghan government, therefore, the people have to smuggle, so Pakistan is benefited from the transport, road and employees, then.
Using cigarette is not a good deed, but we have to accept that people cannot stop cigarette easily, instead of thinking on wise solution, they increase the tax on it, Pakistan extraordinarily decreases the tax on cigarette, however, Afghanistan increases it, thus, the Afghans have to smuggle them from Pakistan. (I, the writer, do not get use of cigarette or other narcotics)
It looks like the policy on economics is taking forward in accordance to a plan that harms Afghanistan and benefits Pakistan. I, from the very beginning, had said in an article that a lot of Pakistani advisors and those who are committed to protect the interests of Pakistan are working in the Finance Ministry and banks; it would not be easy for Ghani to establish a good economic system.
Businessmen are being tortured intentionally and are made to leave the country and/or go to Pakistan. An Afghan businessman that was busy with iron works, made by the Herat government to pay 6 Million Dollars as tax that, perhaps, he had to pay in the past, his son arrested but released after he paid 25000 Dollars as bribe to those who had arrested his son. How that businessman would courage to do business in Afghanistan; it is said that he took his entire wealth and money to Pakistan.
When Ghani visited China, the Chinese authorities were expecting to sign a lot of economic agreement with Afghanistan, however, when Ghani returned to the country, and especially after he arrived from his visit to the America, drowned the China’s dreams.
The Silk Road project that Ghani was talking about and was saying that he would establish it with China, the recent information shows that China intends to build this Silk Road through Kazakhstan, Afghanistan would be devoid of this important economic road.
However, a new import vent is seen, it is that some businessmen have arrived from Denmark and Sweden and have requested for establishing a wine factory for grapes’ sap in Kandahar, they present the reason of that there is wine factory in Pakistan, so if it is going to be built in Kandahar, the people should not oppose it, because both of them are Islamic countries.
President Ghani was saying that I build the government, provide the security, improve the Afghan economy, appoint competence people on governmental posts, the security would improve, the Afghans would become rich, the economy would become better, and the peace would come by itself.
The slogan of peace was repeating by him during his comparing, when he took the power, he, according to his formula of 6 months, promised that I will bring peace within 6 months, his visits to Pakistan were seem nearer than the friendship of Babrak Karmal with Russians and Karzai’s with Bush.
The biggest obstacle toward peace is presence of thought disparities on peace inside the ARG (the Presidential Palace). President Ghani have not got a clear policy on peace, however, the conditions of CEO Abdullah Abdullah is different than Ghani. On other hand, Abdul Rashid Dostum, the first vice-president and Ata Noor, the Balkh provincial governor talk about creating militia and continuing war against peace, whenever there is lack of commitment, disparities on peace inside the government, and the authorities themselves create obstacles in front of peace, so why we would be optimistic for peace, and the latest incident Parwan province that American aircrafts bombarded the cache of weapons in the house of Commander Jan Ahmad; these all are the things that show, intentions of the NUG are bad to each other, both leaders of the NUG are waiting for an opportunity to remove each other and take full control of the power, as long as foreign forces is present in Afghanistan, it is impossible for CEO to do coup on Ghani, or, the former members of the Cabinet and warlords, by the Karzai’s guidance, would make Ghani to leave the power to them under the name of provisional government. Nonetheless, as long as the situations and conditions getting worse, every kind of threat and danger could be concerned.
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the diplomat of Taliban regime and the released prisoner of Guantanamo said that when Ghani took power, he made a request in order to meet me, I, on peace talks with the Taliban, said him that you signed the agreement with US and it is an obstacle in front of peace, Ghani said the agreement could be repealed; then, I told Ghani that Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid has expressed the leaders of Taliban that, after the withdrawal of foreign forces, if the blooding is stopped and peace is provided through negotiations.
I told Ghani that trusting Pakistan in peace process would have the same result as it had in Karzai’s administration, a national pivot chosen by the people, combined from religious scholars, professors and respected elders, and the government does not intervene, therefore the international guarantee is needed. Also, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Iran and Qatar should be considered as vouchers, he added.
I told Ghani to do not hurry in peace process, think deeply and after you find a real solution toward peace, then, share your position with the nation, inclusive sides and the international community, Mr. Zaeef said.
President Ghani said that I rescue Afghan from slavery, however, I do America’s slavery for ten years; we would be independent for centuries then. Nevertheless, we recognized that he, by signing the agreement with the US, put necklace of slavery in the necks of Afghans and, Afghan have not seen any benefit of this agreement yet.
Ghani’s relations with neighborhood countries
Leaders and nation of every country in the world want to have good ties with their neighboring governments and nations based on reciprocal respect, not to let others to interference in other country’s internal affairs.
Ghani’s unilateral deal and political relations with Pakistan have made some credulous people optimistic.
Let’s quote what Karzai had said to his close friends in a meeting:
Karzai said, when the American President Obama, for the first time, came to Afghanistan, he told me three things
First: Pakistan is our strategic partner, Pakistan should be an influential country in the region, and Afghanistan is located in the influence circle of Pakistan.
Second: Ties with India should be in a level which Pakistan would be satisfied with, not unhappy with.
Third: Sign the BSA, whether you want it or not, it will be signed; if you do not sign it, the others would do it, but, if you sign it, it would be in your interest.
If we consider Ghani’s present policy, he obeyed the Obama’s words the very same and no other, he grants Pakistan the right in order for Afghanistan to live in its political influential area, the relations with India should be in a level that could keep Pakistan satisfied, and the BSA signed with America as well.
Signing security agreement with Pakistan NDS-ISI) and back stepping of Ghani, perhaps, would have effects on ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan; but, if Ghani obeys Obama’s order, Ghani’s relations’ policy would be defined from Washington, then.
Ties of Iran with Afghanistan are worsening due to creating of Afghan Daesh group in Afghanistan and it is a threat to Iran, also. And, Iran knows that who has hand in creating Afghan Daesh group.
Relations with Central Asia are based on policies of Russia and America. Ties of Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) with Afghanistan are affected from Russia and relations of Afghanistan with these countries are defined in accordance with the US policies. As ties between America and Russia are not good due to war in Ukraine and Syria, so the relations of Afghanistan with Central Asia are going to become worsen, then.
What Ghani received from China, India and Russia?
China wished to have discussions on economic affairs with new Afghan government and, perhaps, have some economic projects in Afghanistan, but when Ghani arrived from his visit to the United States of America, China became disappointed, that’s why it thinks about Kazakhstan for the Silk Road Project, now, and signed big economic agreements with Pakistan.
India provided Afghanistan with a lot of aid and supports in Karzai era and, to a large extent, had good relations with Afghan government; however, Ghani vitiated these ties very soon, India stopped its on-going projects and showed a negative reaction on agreement between the National Directorate of Security (NDS) of Afghanistan and Inter-service Intelligence (ISI) of Afghanistan.
Russia observe the situation in Afghanistan from near and its interference is so obvious, discovering of huge cage of Russian weapons in Jan Ahmad’s house in Parwan is a very good example it.
Former President Karzai’s recent visits to China and Russia and, meeting Indian authorities in his way to China, were not good news for America and Ghani, Karzai try to receive the support of China and Russia because his relations are not so good with Obama’s administration, however, if the Republicans won the 2016 Elections, whether Karzai would become close with America as he was with in Bush era or he would stay with Iran, India and Russia through the intercession of Northern Coalition.
Recently, Atta Noor and Dostum had visits to Russia and Uzbekistan respectively; it looks like the two powerful commanders of North would become together as a result of Russia, Uzbekistan and Turkey’s struggles and, once again, they, in Mazar-I Sharif, would renounce their war on Taliban and Daesh.
Atta Noor expressed that he leave the power by his own wish not as a result of pressure from the central government, President Ghani made a request to Ismail Khan to accept becoming the Provincial Governor of Balkh province, but he did not accept it.
The leader of NUG had made totally 110 promises, 4 of them are fulfilled and they are signing the security agreement with US, implementing the law on public access to information, removing ban on the New York Times’ journalist to come to Afghanistan and merging the Directorate of President Office with the mechanisms of Administrative Affairs Bureau and Ministers’ Council.
Work on 23 promised promises is going on and the reaming 83 promised promises are yet to be started.
Considering above-mentioned points, President Ashraf Ghani felt that the National Unity Government is going to collapse. CEO confirmed weakness of the NUG, also.
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