News / Asia

Afghan Insurgent Group to Join Presidential Election

Men walk past a campaign banner of Afghan presidential candidate Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf, in Kabul, Feb. 9, 2014.
Men walk past a campaign banner of Afghan presidential candidate Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf, in Kabul, Feb. 9, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
A key Afghan group fighting alongside the Taliban against NATO forces has announced it will formally participate in the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan. Some members of the Afghan insurgency are allegedly hiding in neighboring Pakistan. 
 
The announcement to participate in the election by the Hizb-e-Islami faction is seen as a blow to the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.  Led by fugitive former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the insurgent group is the second largest after the Taliban.

While the Hizb-e-Islami faction fought alongside the Taliban against coalition forces, it had been a rival to the Taliban while it was in power.  It has until now stayed away from presidential elections, citing the presence of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
 
Ghairat Baheer, the head of the so-called political commission of Hizb-e-Islamai, tells VOA the central leadership has instructed supporters across the country “to actively take part" in the election campaign and vote for presidential candidate Qutbuddin Hilal.

Baheer gave details of his group’s central executive committee’s meeting (held on Saturday) where the decision to participate in the election was made.
 
“The decision was made that Hezb-i-Islami has to support one of the candidates in the coming presidential elections," said Baheer. "So, it was very natural for Hizb-e-Islami to support their own person who used to be a very senior member of Hizb-e-Islam that is Engineer Qutbuddin Hilal.  So, that decision was made and it was also decided that our support to Qutbuddin Hilal will be vocal and public.”
 
Presidential hopeful Hilal had fielded himself as an independent candidate for April 5 polls and he is known to have previously served as head of Hizb-e-Islami’s political commission.  

The polls are being described as crucial for future stability in the country and it will be the first time in the troubled Afghan history that power will be transferred through a democratic process.  There are 11 candidates in the race for the country’s top post to replace President Hamid Karzai, who is barred by the constitution from running for a third time.
 
There was no immediate reaction from the Taliban that has condemned the elections as a “U.S.-staged drama and waste of time”.  It has also warned Afghans against taking part in the polls.  The insurgent group insists “free and fair” elections are not possible as long as Afghanistan “remains under the occupation of foreign invading forces”.
 
There have been reports of rifts within the Taliban ranks in recent weeks.  Critics believe Hizb-e-Islami’s decision to take part in the polls is likely to cause more problems for the insurgency and is expected to increase the legitimacy of the Afghan presidential elections.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid