Former President Hamid Karzai once again urged that a Loya Jirga (National Assembly) be called, saying it is the only path toward ending the current challenges of the country.
The former Afghan president, who was in power from 2001 to 2014, told Iran’s Arabic-language news network al-Alam that he and the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah have faced challenges in traveling abroad and hoped that these problems would be solved in the future.
“Yes, the travels which were supposed to have along with Dr. Abdullah, we have faced problems individually, we hope these problems will be solved inside the country. Inside Kabul city, we are moving freely—the people come visit us—Abdullah and I consult with one another, and we can go any part of Kabul we want to,” Karzai said.
There have been reports suggesting that Karzai and Abdullah are banned from traveling abroad.
“We are happy about conducting an election. But it is important to do what is possible in the current situation in the country—does it mean we are able to conduct an election? Will the ground be paved for an election, through which the people will display their will via a referendum? But if it is impossible, do we have an alternative? Only a Loya Jirga, which is approved in the country’s constitution and the Afghans have been using for centuries.” he said.
The Islamic Emirate did not offer a comment on Karzai’s remarks but said efforts are underway to bring reforms to the caretaker government. “In general, the Islamic Emirate is attempting to form a government but the views of citizens are considered,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
After the fall of the former government, many political leaders left the country, but Karzai and Abdullah remained in Afghanistan.
“A general amnesty has been announced in Afghanistan, but these restrictions exist and an environment of trust—this is really needed,” said Toreq Farhadi, a political analyst.
When the Islamic Emirate swept into power, its supreme leader, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, announced a general amnesty to the officials and employees including the former military of the previous government.