Kabul Tomorrow Sunny
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Jalalabad Tomorrow Party cloudy
Bamiyan Tomorrow Sunny
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The Killid Group
'Reforming' OppositionWritten by Lal Aqa Shirin
Sunday, 20 November 2011 10:47
There is a multitude of new political coalitions.
A new alliance named Afghanistan National Front was announced last week. There is no mention of who will be its leader, but there are indications that alliance leaders are former vice president, Ahmad Zia Masood, chief of Afghan army staff Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Hajee Mohammad Mohaqeq, leader of the Islamic Unity party. The coalition's claim: the country is in crisis, and has to be saved.
Last month another alliance was born - Right and Justice, under the leadership of
Haneef Atmar, Hamidullah Farooqi, Engr Abas Noyan and Shujaudeen Khurasani . The leaders announced their goal was to introduce amendments in the Constitution that would pave the way for a switch from presidential form of government to parliamentary democracy. The party would also seek more authority for provincial councils, and elected governors.
The demands are similar to those of Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the leader of Change and Hope coalition.
Why are we seeing a multiplicity of coalitions?
Dr. Mohammad Kabir Haqmal observes that coalition politics at the international level are created to push for "bigger goals" but in Afghanistan "those who are coming together to form alliances are either aggrieved with the government or frustrated within the establishment and side-lined."
Figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice reveal the number of coalition parties has climbed up to 130. A cursory look at the stated goals shows very marginal differences in their aims and affiliations.
Afghanistan is again at a cross-road. With the US and NATO troops preparing to withdraw by 2014, there are long-term strategic alliances being hammered out between Kabul and countries like the US. The country's sovereignty has to be paramount. There are also regional influences on Kabul. The importance of a strong opposition is essential keeping in mind the delicate situation Afghanistan faces internally, regionally and internationally. The opposition has to play a proactive role, and not fan the flames.
Dr. Ruhullah Amin, lecturer of Nangarhar Speenghar University believes the opposition has to grow into a "reforming opposition".
Coalition leaders have to rise up to the challenge of being a real opposition and free of egotism, or they will be limited to being leaders only in Kabul, he says.