| ||Rare meeting of former Afghan warlords as election nears|
By Mirwais Adeel
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Ata Mohammad Noor provincial governor for northern Balkh province of Afghanistan and Gen. Abdul Rasheed Dosturm one of the prominent members of the main political opposition of the Afghan government — national coalition following a rare meeting on Saturday met in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city.
According to a statement released by Balkh provincial government compound the meeting was organized in Jamiat-e-Islami party political office.
The source further added the two sides discussed mutual cooperation, upcoming presidential election and withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014.
Gen. Abdul Rasheed Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor are the most powerful commanders in northern Afghanistan and the two leaders in the past had some issues which also led to armed clashes between the fighters of the two leaders.
Ata Mohammad Noor is currently working as the provincial governor for Balkh province while Gen. Abdul Rasheed Dostum is representing the national coalition party — the main opposition political coalition against the Afghan government.
In the meantime Balkh government media office following the statement said Ata Mohammad Noor discussed the upcoming presidential election with Gen. Abdul Rasheed Dostum in today’s meeting however the source did not disclose further information regarding the talks between the two leaders.
On the other hand political observers are saying that today’s meeting between Gen. Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor can be red alaram for the national coalition.
They are saying that Mohammad Mohaqiq a member of the national coalition is also keen to reunite with the powerful parties united with the current government on the occassion of the upcoming presidential election.
On the other hand head of the national coalition Ahmad Zia Massoud recently attended the Paris conference on Afghanistan and his views are reportedly nearing the Taliban group and Hezb-e-Islami party of Afghanistan.
Political observers are also saying that they are expecting to witness new coalitions as Afghan presidential elections nears to be organized.