Afghanistan: Dead lock continues as Ashraf Ghani refused to accept Abdulha Abdullah demands

Arif Qureshi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid an unannounced visit to Kabul last Monday, in a day long tour he held separate meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, and latter joint meeting with both. According to details aim of Mike Pompeo tour was to convince both leaders on power sharing agreement and form an inclusive Government. But  Pompeo failed to broker a deal between them.

The United State clearly angry with both Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, as both had failed to set aside their differences and agreed on power sharing formula. US worried because they think that the more delay in peace process may harm the deal with Afghan Taliban. US forces has already started withdrawal from Afghanistan but unable to implement the Afghan Taliban’s key demand release of prisoners according to the deal.

Mike Pompeo left Kabul on Monday evening and arrived in Doha where he held about an hour long meeting with Taliban’s chief negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar. Mike Pompeo pressed the Afghan Taliban to continue to comply with the agreement as United States and NATO forces has started withdraw according to the peace deal.

Soon after the pompeo’s Kabul visit the state department announced on Tuesday that United States would cut $1 billion in aid to the Afghanistan current year, 2020 and prepared to reduce by another $1 billion in 2021 because of inability of Afghan leaders to form a unity government to negotiate with the Afghan Taliban.

The US announcement to cut the financial aid of Afghanistan was a clear message that if you will not agree, we will not help out.

President Ashraf Ghani reacted to Washington’s decision to cut $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan; he addressed the nation on Tuesday and said that the reduction in economic aid by US would not have an impact on key sectors and departments of the country, the government will try to fill the vacuum with alternative resources. But analysts believe that the Afghan Government has not as much internal resources to run the country, they mostly dependent to foreign aid including US.

According to a source in Kabul both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah discussed a power sharing formula but the demands of Abdullah Abdullah were unacceptable to Ashraf Ghani.

Abdullah Abdullah placed three demands to Government as to create a post of executive Prime Minister for him, Sixty percent share in the cabinet and a role to oversee the peace process with Afghan Taliban. But President Asharf Ghani categorically ruled out the demand of executive Prime Minister Post for Abdullah Abdullah, but offered him Chairmanship of “Supreme Peace Council” to negotiate with Afghan Taliban conditioning that the Peace Council would report to the president.

Ghani also offered 40% share in the next cabinet of Afghanistan to Abdullah Abdullah and his allies mostly in security areas. And last he promised to appoint an independent task force on electoral reform. But former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the Ghani’s formula.

US also fears that if differences between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah continued, Afghan defense forces could split between two presidents and two commanders in chief.

Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan organized Presidential election on September 28, 2019 in Afghanistan, there were 18 candidates who contested the elections but the real election was between former president Ashraf Ghani and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

IEC scheduled to announce the final results of election on October 19, but the results were delayed because of allegations of fraud and protests from the candidates.

Hawa Alam Nuristani, head of the election commission announced the final results on 18th February, and declared Ashraf Ghani as winner. It was announced that Ashraf Ghani secured 50.64 (923,592 votes) percent of the vote and defeated his close rival Abdullah Abdullah who got 39.52 (720,841 votes) percent of votes.

Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the results and both Ashraf Ghani and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah took oath as president of Afghanistan in separate ceremonies in Kabul on 9th March. The United States special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in several meetings tried his best to convince both on unity Government but failed to do so yet.

Arif Qureshi is Editor Daily Online “The Fortress” he can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

About Arif Qureshi

Check Also

US to reduce troop levels to less than 5,000 by end of November

Washington:US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday that the United States will withdraw the number …