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 Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora