Ashraf Ghani is no longer an ethnonationalist


On February 5, in an article published within the notion piece of Al Jazeera English, author Eisa Khan Ayoobi labeled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as an “ethnonationalist”, pretty many those that have confidence been following Ghani’s political occupation and tenure as president carefully.

I no doubt have confidence identified Ghani for my piece for several years – I served as the senior protection adviser at the Afghanistan Security Transition Price which he chaired, I became a member of his electoral campaign team on behalf of the Afghanistan Social Democratic Occasion, and for the previous year, I no doubt have confidence been serving as a deputy minister in his Nationwide Cohesion Govt. I’m able to confidently explain that the president I know and work carefully with is no longer an ethnonationalist.

In his article, Mr Ayoobi implied that President Ghani came to vitality as results of a fraud-ridden election. It’s miles correct that the 2014 presidential election in Afghanistan became an advanced one, with standard allegations of irregularities. But in September 2014, Afghanistan’s election commission conducted a UN-backed audit of all votes to set up the aforementioned fraud allegations to leisure and declared Ghani as the legit winner of the election.

Despite the truth that Ghani’s victory became confirmed by every native authorities and self sustaining global observers, the Afghan society became clean deeply divided following the irritating electoral job. The Pashtun majority within the nation, who overwhelmingly voted for Ghani, became sigh material with the closing election result, but his rival Abdullah Abdullah’s supporters have confidence been clean disappointed. To bridge these divisions inner the society, even supposing he became below no obligation to pause so, Ghani agreed to the formation of a Nationwide Cohesion Govt (NUG) all over which he would piece vitality with Abdullah. When President Ghani visited Washington in March 2015 along with Abdullah – who had develop to be Afghanistan’s first chief executive officer on account of the agreed vitality-sharing mechanism – the then US international secretary John Kerry applauded Ghani for taking such a unifying stance following the election.

“[Ghani] became no longer required by any regulation, by any rule, by any precedent to piece vitality and make a unity executive,” Kerry said. “But, he did so because he believed it became within the honest interests of Afghanistan and it became methods to circulate forward.”

Therefore, the formation of the NUG in itself may perchance well be viewed as a clear indication that President Ghani is no longer an ethnonationalist but a unifying power working to carry the divided Afghan society collectively.

Ghani owed his electoral success to the Pashtun neighborhood, but he clean made decided that fairly loads of ethnicities of Afghanistan are represented in his executive. This present day, these chosen by Ghani as ministers, heads of highly efficient self sustaining directorates and key advisers are no longer easiest Pashtuns. Just a few of Ghani’s most highly efficient ministers and closest advisors are also non-Pashtuns or Dari-audio system. He also makes 2d-tier appointments, akin to deputy ministers, in step with benefit and no longer ethnicity. Ghani even angered or alienated some Pashtun activists who actively supported him all over his electoral campaign by no longer providing them positions in his executive.

In accordance to the Afghan constitution, Pashto and Dari are the 2 legitimate languages of the deliver. President Ghani, an ethnic Pashtun, delivers virtually most of his public and legitimate speeches in Dari – the range of the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan. In the same arrangement, he speaks within the cabinet and other excessive-level conferences largely in Dari. He does so deliberately to level to that he’s the chief of Afghanistan and no longer merely the representative of the Pashtun majority that voted for him.

It’ll clean be famed that Afghanistan’s Pashtun establishment has historically played the aim of “Colossal Brother”, providing candidates from ethnic minorities highly efficient positions within the manager in an try and reassure minorities that they are a really noteworthy piece of the Afghan society. President Ghani’s political behaviour in terms of facing Afghanistan’s ethnic minorities fits totally with this unwritten rule that has prolonged been practiced by Afghanistan’s Pashtun rulers. Some Pashtun political circles are an increasing number of important of such behavior and derive into consideration it as a gateway to the gradual marginalisation of the Pashtun majority, while others observe it as a political necessity to shield up the multiethnic nation united. President Ghani clearly has the same opinion with the latter group.

The peace deal President Ghani signed with Hezb-i-Islami celebration chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar ought to clean also be viewed as a monumental leap forward in peace efforts and unification of the Afghan society. Hekmatyar is no longer merely a tribal chief however the chief of 1 of the most influential Islamist political parties within the nation. The peace agreement that brought him into the mainstream politics became in step with nationwide consensus. The agreement became extensively welcomed every nationally and inner global circles, because it became for the better perfect of the nation. This agreement became welcomed because many folks agree that Hekmatyar doing politics inner the confines of Afghan constitution is a thousand times better than a scenario all over which he takes up fingers against the deliver, jeopardising our nationwide safety.

On this context, it is definite that President Ghani can no longer be labeled as an “ethnonationalist”. Obviously, Ghani may perchance well be labelled as a nationalist within the broader sense, as he’s a die-onerous patriot, but his patriotism is no longer in any respect restricted to the Pashtun ethnicity. As a lot as now, he has played the aim of a unifying establish for all Afghans, and this will with no doubt give him an edge over his political competitors within the upcoming presidential election.

The views expressed listed listed below are the author’s have confidence and pause no longer primarily have confidence Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

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