Noor-Ghani: One side has to blink
Balkh has two rulers
Ata Mohammad Noor has not stepped down as governor though his resignation has been accepted by the government of national unity.
Mohammad Dawood has been assigned as governor of Balkh province.
What are the reasons for the deadlock? Halim Adel, an economist, says,
"Unofficial self-authorisation in some of the provinces including Balkh has caused that revenue and tax collections from Hairatan port go to the pockets of local authorities and not to the national treasury. This was seriously weakening the national economy."
Islands of power are not limited only to Balkh in Afghanistan. There are powerful people in the centre who neither pay tax to the government. They are outside the control of the central government.
Recently there were reports about the monopolising of electricity in the industrial township of Pol e Charkhi in Kabul. It was followed by an announcement by General Abdul Raziq, the security commander in Kandahar, that the government of national unity is the creation of an agreement and does not have either the right or the power to dismiss him.
Yet the government has been strict and enforcing the law only with the governor of Balkh, which has raised doubts about its partiality.
Parwez Kawa, journalist and political analyst, says, "Ata Mohammad Noor and General Raziq would pay for their antagonism against the government but those who are in the political coalition of Ashraf Ghani and are accused of being involved in corruption have found more role in the government."
Some experts think the imbroglio is a result of the government trying to enforce the law.
Mohammad Qarabaghi, political analyst says, "To counter small power centres is
a strategy of the government of national unity led by Ashraf Ghani and the action is not a new one. But the governor of Balkh is strong … Others who disobey the government would easily give up."
Earlier such confrontations with power centres include the first vice president who has been "unofficially banished". Sharif Eqbal, a legal expert, says, "If the government succeeds to remove such islands of power and spread the dominance of the law throughout the country, it would be commendable and welcomed."