The self proclaimed undisputed leader of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani won his second consecutive term after much awaited results of Afghanistan’s general elections were announced by the country’s Independent Election Commission on February 18, more than almost four months after the elections were ended.
The final results were originally to be announced on November 7 but were repeatedly delayed amid accusations of misconduct and technical problems with counting ballots.
However, the delay in announcing the results of polls has raised many important questions which are needed to be answered with meaningful arguments.
Before we go into the details of these questions it is here important to mention that the turnout in the recent elections was unexpectedly low due to many issues.
According to the political experts in Afghanistan, the turnout was low partly because of insecurity in parts of the country which made it impossible for a lot of Afghans to come out to vote for their candidates.
But the facts can not be ignored that Afghans have lost hope in the electoral processes and termed the election as nothing more than a pre-planned fraud.
If we talk about the details of results announced by the independent Election Commission Ashraf Ghani bagged 9,23,592 votes, or 50.64%, in the election that took place on September 28 last year while his opponent and the country’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah received 7,20,841 votes, or 39.52%.
Nearly one million votes were discarded due to irregularities. Afghanistan’s total population stands at about 37 million, with 9.6 million registered voters.
While rejecting the results of the polls, Abdullah Abdullah has said that they were in no state to accept the results of these manipulated and rigged elections.
He tweeted that, “My message to the Afghan nation tonight is: there is no doubt that we are the winner of elections based on transparent and biometric votes. The decision on disputed votes was illegal and amounts to a coup and national treason in favour of our rival team.”
He further said, “We do not accept the fraudulent results. We are announcing our victory. We will now form an inclusive government. We call on all our compatriots who believe in democracy and fairness to stand with us. God protect our country.”
Even though this was the fourth election in the country, the democratic exercises has failed to address the deep ethnic divide governing the country. The last elections were also controversial but then the interference of the US made it somehow easy to broke a deal between the opponents and an unusual power sharing deal was brokered under which Ghani was nominated as the president and Abdullah the chief executive.
Though the system worked for five years, both camps never saw eye to eye on any issue and now once again history is repeating itself as Abdullah has refused to accept the election and even threatened to grab power with force.
Now it is important here to discuss that the lowest turnout since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, with just 1.82m votes counted has made it clear that the people of Afghanistan were in not state to support the puppet regime of Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan.
The polls results showed that the trust and popularity graph of Ashraf Ghani who called himself an undisputed leader of Afghanistan has dramatically fallen due to his incompetent leadership.
On the other hand despite knowing about the evidences of NDS-RAW terror activities in Balochistan and Indian spy Kulboshan Jhadaw admission of this fact, the so called Pashtun nationalists in Pakistan have extended their support, love for Ashraf Ghani and have openly acknowledge him as leader of Pashtuns on both sides of the border.
Despite trumpeting a false mantra of Pakistani establishment intruding in Afghanistan and demanding to stop it, these so-called nationalists leaders are exactly doing that; interfering in Afghanistan internal politics. Secondly, how ironic is that, while they are crying a foul play in Pakistan electoral process despite international recognition of being fair and transparent, they are readily accepting Afghanistan election result in spite of serious allegations and rigging evidences. The correct course would have been to question Ashraf Ghani and Co for allegations of rigging, manipulation and pressurise Afghanistan to ensure a true representative government.
Moreover, in past we have seen the support of Ashraf Ghani for the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) a self-proclaimed movement for the rights of Pashtuns in Pakistan. Once in his tweet Ashraf Ghani has said that, “I am troubled by the arrest of Manzoor Pashteen and his colleagues. I fully echo the concerns raised Amnesty International in this regard and hope for their immediate release.”
In its response The Foreign Office (FO) had expressed “serious concern” after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted regarding the arrest of activist Manzoor Pashteen, describing Ghani’s statement as ‘interference’ in Pakistan’s internal affairs. The foreign office had dismissed the tweets as unwarranted.
Evidence in terror activities within Pakistan in general and specifically in Balochistan points towards Afghan Intelligence support and indicates that RAW-NDS Nexus are active against Pakistan in his government.
In this backdrop and keeping in view the internal political situation of Afghanistan, support for Ashraf Ghani government in any capacity is unwise and irresponsible. Pakistan foreign office (MoFA) needs to formulate a comprehensive policy discouraging a systemic patronage of nationalists leaders within Pakistan by Afghanistan. If left unchecked, it can have far reaching implications for the region in general and specially for Pakistan.