Left to right: Former President Hamid Karzai, President Ghani, Former Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Former Mujahideen and Politician Abdul Rasul Sayaaf, and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.  Photograph: Shah Marai/Pool/EPA

Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar after appearing in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces, returned to Kabul to participate in Politics. In the Meantime, Supporters of First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum warned President Ghani over monopolizing power. Besides that, Former Special Envoy on Good Governance and Reform Ahmad Zia Massuod works with Dostum. From the very beginning of Government of National Unity, President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah have had different views regarding many issues. The political game is going on when the U.S. new administration weight her strategy in Afghanistan for multiyear while Neighbor countries like Russia, Iran and Pakistan are trying to interfere in internal affairs of the country, according to Afghan officials. A basic question arise: how politicians want to play the game in the year ahead of them?

Returning of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to Kabul is a result of peace deal which was signed in September 2016 between the government of National Unity and Hizb-e-Islami. According to the agreement, Hekmatyar’s supporters accept the constitution, lay down their arms and work for peace, and the government release Hizb-e-Islami prisoners, provide Hekmatyar with three residences, provide land for thousands of his supporters in exile and allow him to fully participate in Politics.

Hekmatyar’s participation in politics is joining the mix of rogue ex-Mujaheddin and militia leaders who all once fought each other. There are also concerns that Hekmatyar’s presence in Kabul could add another disruptive factor to an already volatile political situation. As former Warlord Hekmatyar continually criticized Afghan National Unity Government structure and demanding presidential system which is in favor of President Ghani, while Chief Executive Abdullah wants to change the presidential system to parliament system.

Before Hekmatyar’s homecoming, President Ghani had fired his special Envoy on good governance and reform Ahmad Zia Massood and Ghani’s first vice President Abdurrashid Dostom has been under virtual house arrest in Kabul as a result of charges that he beat and reaped an elderly political rival in November. In May 5, supporters of Ahmad Zia Massood and Abdurrashid Dostom rallied in Mazar-e-Sharif accusing Ghani for centralizing power in Presidential palace, warned massive rallies in Northern of the country.

Politicians of the country have different views regarding one issue, including future political system of the country. The key issue is that a number of politicians are trying to implement presidential system, while other leaders are proposing to hold the traditional Grand Council (Loya-Jirga) for changing constitution in order to turn presidential system into parliamentary system.

Meantime, U.S. is weighting her strategy in Afghanistan to break a stalemate with Taliban insurgents. The strategy will include deployment of more troops, and change to the rules of engagement in Afghanistan, according to General Raymond Thomas, the commander of U.S. Special operations command.  Some experts believe that U.S. is preparing for presence in Afghanistan for more than 50 years and need a new strategy which costs 23 million dollar per year.

On the other side, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, China, and India are trying to play role in the current political situation. On Sunday May 7, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Kabul. During a press conference with his counterpart Afghan acting Foreign minister Salahuddini Rabbani, Jawad Zarif said that insurgency is a common threat to the region and the world, and warned that terrorism will destabilize the security of nations that are sponsoring terror groups.

In the one hand, regional and International players are not working together to eliminate terrorist groups. In the other hand, Afghan leaders are rivals of each other and trying to pursue different goals. Both regional and internal rival’s situations make politics of the country tougher and controlling this situation is hard.

Now, both Afghan leaders and global powers can make the country worst or better. If Afghan leaders pursue their goals through using peaceful tools, the country will become more stable. But if the leaders turn into violence and open fire on each other, the country will return to the civil war in 1990s. In regional context, If U.S. and Russia do not look for cooperation and common ground for working together on elimination of terrorism, the proxy war between Russia and U.S. will led the country to another bloody year.

Note: This article was rejected by Afghan English Newspapers due to policy review.


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