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 An Ariana Media Publication 08/27/2016
 The national front and Karzai's front

Arman-e Melli

Kabul - Five years and four months after Borhanoddin Rabbani left the Presidential Palace under Western countries' pressure, the non-political leadership of president Karzai has once again made him a centre of a new political project.

The comrades of the late Ahmad Shah Masud are trying to achieve two main objectives through re-electing Rabbani to a symbolic position, just as in the 90s. Firstly, they aim to keep real power in the hands of the Panjsheri combatants [Panjsher is a province north of Kabul, homeland of Ahmad Shah Masud] behind the so-called leadership of Rabbani. Secondly, the risk-free presence of Rabbani as the leader of the front can be a source of satisfaction for other powerful members of this political project.

It is quite clear that every member of the front is insisting on keeping his personal immunity and power. Frankly speaking, they want the majority to follow them. It is difficult to believe that working on a parliamentary system and on election of provincial governors and city mayors can reduce the extensive difference between the members of the front and bring them together in a political alliance.

Unfortunately, the aim of all political programmes and movements in Afghanistan is to gain power even though they chant Islamic or national slogans, apparently.

Five years after the United Front [the Northern Alliance] formulated the structure of a new state in Bonn, Germany, after the Taleban regime, they now feel that the government's structure is against what they wanted.

It is unacceptable for the comrades of late Ahmad Shah Masud to see that the heir of Masud is confined at home [not working as anything in the government] and his other friends are sometimes called warlords, war criminals and human rights violators.

In addition, the spread of Islamic Party's influence in the Presidential Palace and Hekmatyar's possible entry in the government as a result of the endeavours of influential figures within the palace has caused further concern among the Panjsheri Front.

However, the heterogeneous National Front has some other well known faces in it too. These figures have no link to their ideals.

Apparently, the participation of Mustafa Zaher [former king Zaher Shah's grandson] in the front has worried President Karzai more than anyone else's participation. Before his visit to New Delhi, Karzai twice met the former king's grandson and asked him not to join the front. However, the young Zaher, like an increasing number of other people, has lost hope in Karzai's leadership and has agreed with the understanding that "Karzai has failed".

For more than four years, President Karzai has kept the royal family in the Arg [Presidential Palace] and has provided them with little opportunity to have a share in political power. Even though after his return from India President Karzai published the message that there was no link between Mustafa Zaher's actions and those the former king Zaher Shah's and the royal family, the presence of Mustafa Zaher beside Marshal Fahim has put an end to the dramas acted out by President Karzai and the family of the former king.

Among the princes, who all run away from politics, Mustafa Zaher is the only one who runs the political life of the family of the last king and is no longer standing with President Karzai.

Anyhow, the presence of Nurolhaq Olumi and Sayed Mohammad Golabzoi in the Jihadi composition of the National Front seems to be funny and totally unnatural. How can one believe that the followers of Marx will join hands with religious parties?

When I met Mr Olumi in his apartment for an interview three years ago, I found him to be a reticent and very cautious individual who was supporting the democratization programme in Afghanistan. Today, Olumi appears to be a talkative and active person, seriously criticizing the US political project in Afghanistan.

Karzai's lack of a political identity, the presence of the extensive ideological gap in the present political system, and Karzai's incompetent leadership in creating a definite political route and a national movement has made some tested figures like Olumi use the opportunity to specify his own position in the country and also work to give a definite direction to the system after fall of the Taleban regime.

Washington and its close allies are gradually realizing that Karzai's leadership has failed and some people think that the present situation will be revived with Karzai's replacement sooner or later.

Even though Hamed Karzai enjoyed unprecedented political, military and economic support from the US and other western countries, he failed to create a competent and capable administration. Karzai has even failed to win the confidence of his first vice-president and members of cabinet. Karzai, surrounded by the Arg's [Presidential Palace] mafias, has accused the National Front of dealings with Iran and Russia while his own first vice president and cabinet ministers are members of the very same front. This shows that Karzai has established a government which can collapse under a minor pressure.

The establishment of the National Front is also a theatre play set up for the benefit of American audiences, showing that if Karzai's government collapses, there is no problem with finding a replacement for the president.

Anyhow, will President Karzai, who has always expressed disgust at establishing a political party or political leadership, remain an idealist and be indifferent to the challenge of the newly established front? President Karzai's naive stance with regard to the limited number of political and military figures around Arg can largely reveal the nature of his programmes. Abdorrab Rasul Sayyaf, Mohammad Mohaqeq and Karim Khalili are among the pieces that Karzai wants to use against the National Front in his late programme. Karzai also tries to put Sebghatollah Mojadedi and Sayed Ahmad Gilani in his political programme and thus strengthen the religious and spiritual aspect of his front. This front will untimely ensure the constructiveness or failure of Karzai's front. However, its members will have a higher capacity than the members of the National Front in making a front. Frankly speaking, Sayyaf, Mojaddedi and Gilani will prefer to stay with Karzai until the very end while according to many experts, relations of Olumi and Mustafa Zaher with Rabbani and Marshal Fahim will not last long.

So, one cannot consider the establishment of the National Front as a sign of creation of a leftwing or a reformist group and at the same time one cannot consider the establishment of Karzai's front to be the creation of a rightwing or conservative group. Basically, the present government and political system is divided between two groups and thus the terms right and left, as the government and opposition, remain meaningless in this regard.

Even though one cannot expect reforms or new ideas from the founders of the National Front, one must realize that President Karzai's government has created no basic value that Mr Karzai's front will have to protect. Thus, it will be negated that there are two reformist and conservative groups. The two fronts will not have a lot of ideological and political differences and they will both have one objective, that is, power.

Via BBC Monitoring

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