Masoud Urges Strong Democracy, Cautions Centralized System

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Ahmad Zia Masoud, Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani for Reforms and Good Governance, on Monday said that the nation has dismissed a Taliban-centered ideology and there is no place for extremism in Afghan society.

“The Afghans in general have dismissed the ideology of Taliban and Daesh, fundamentalism has no place in our society. Therefore these groups continue to wage war and resort to violence in a bid to reach their political objectives” he said.

Speaking at a gathering commemorating the death anniversary of a slain leader of Jamiat-e-Islami party Engineer Habiburrahman, Masoud took the opportunity to express his views on a wide range of national issues including insurgency, political stability, election reforms, parliamentary elections, role of Jamiat in the national politics, parliamentary system and the negative impacts of a centralized political system.

In addition, Massoud talked on the general political climate of the country, and warned against a centralized government and political system where the decision-making is concentrated on by a single person or unit.

“The centralized political system will have negative repercussions ahead, we need to ensure the participation and presence of the people in the system,” he said.

While the Taliban and other militant groups still remain a potential threat to Afghanistan’s political and security stability, Masoud called for more to be done to curb the influence of such groups that intend to portray threats to the democratic process in the country.

“We should not allow our newly-established democracy to be threatened by extremists. Jamiat supports democracy to be institutionalized in our political system so that there is more balance and better coordination between all bodies of the system,” he said.

In reference to the existence of corruption in the country, he called for a wider government and public effort to fight the trend.

“We must seriously combat terrorism and corruption,” he said.

Referring to the political role of Jamiat in Afghanistan’s politics, Masoud said that Jamiat has played a constructive role in national politics both in the past and in the present, but pushed for a greater role for Jamiat in politics.

“Jamiat strongly believes in civil goals and has strong commitments to national issues, therefore Jamiat wants to play a broader role in politics,” Masoud said.

Masoud also highlighted the main factors that led to the collapse of the government of Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan and said that he was surrounded by a number of then extremists who finally dismantled his government.

He said that there is a dire need to maintain political stability in the country, but for that Afghanistan should not allow anyone to manipulate the political power.

Masoud said that all ethnicities in the country must feel their presence in the political system in the country.

On the issue of electoral reforms he said that the people of Afghanistan want transparency in all national processes including the election process and that parliamentary and district council elections must be held.

“Transparency is the basic aspiration of the people in all national processes. The electoral reforms must be in place. The role of political parties in the election system and election law must be defined. Because the people want a strong democracy,” he said.

On the political role of Jamiat in the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG), Masoud said that Jamiat played a key role in this respect and that is how they agreed on 50-50 power sharing agenda.

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