Khalili: Future political system must be decided in a referendum

Addressing a gathering of his supporters in the central Bamyan province, Mohammad Karim Khalili, the leader of Hezbe Wahdat-e-Islami and former vice president of Afghanistan, said the future political system should be decided in a referendum. “All parties and influential circles may present the systems they think are effective for resolving Afghanistan conflicts. Whatever the vast majority of the people endorsed is acceptable for all,” Khalili said.

Speaking at the gathering convened on Tuesday, April 06, in Bamyan to commemorate the 26th death anniversary of the late Abdul Ali Mazari, the founding father of Hezbe Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan, Khalili proposed a referendum to decide the future political system. He made such a statement at a time when the country is going to attend a decisive peace meeting to be hosted by Turkey in the coming months.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban are pushed to discuss how to end the decades-long war. A number of proposals, including the US proposal that proposes an interim administration and ceasefire, will be discussed in the upcoming conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) to which Khalili is a leading member, has said that it is working on 30 proposals offered by various political factions.

Describing the upcoming conference as a golden opportunity, Khalili said the Afghan factions, the Taliban, regional countries, and the international community have realized that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict. He said the Taliban type of Emirate is not acceptable.  “The Taliban’s Emirate is neither acceptable for the Afghan people nor for the world. The status quo is not acceptable for the Taliban either. Therefore, the Taliban and as well as all other parties must be ready to make any [required] sacrifices.”

Before holding a referendum, Khalili said, a thorough and precise census should be conducted.

Touching on Federalism, proposed by Abdul Ali Mazari during the civil war and now by some other politicians see as a solution to end the war in Afghanistan, he said this proposal was made for a solution and should not be interpreted as a way to disintegrate the country.

The leader of Hezbe Wahdat Islami Afghanistan went further to warn that any peace that does not ensure justice in the country would plunge Afghanistan into a deeper crisis. Afghanistan can achieve sustainable peace when historical conflicts of the country are rooted out and justice is ensured, Khalili stated.

Ironically pointing to the Hazaras, he called on the people to “be prepared” for a situation in case the peace process collapsed. He reiterated that nothing can be imposed on any ethnic group or movement as they would stand against it. “Today, you are a major part of this country. Nothing will yield result without your presence,” he assured his supporters in regard to the peace process.