KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential hopeful Syed Noorullah Jalili on Thursday said he would support the withdrawal of foreign troops and amend the Constitution to achieve durable peace and stability in the country.
He said the National Unity Government (NUG) had failed to bring peace, stability to the country and ensure security and improve economy but instead resulted in disunity among tribes. He said the government lacked ‘decisiveness’ for peace and fight against corruption.
Syed Noorullah Jalili, who was registered as a presidential candidate on thursay, was born in Nangarhar province in 1973. He completed his higher education from Kabul’s Medical University and has been doing business for the past 18 years.
Speaking to the media after registering his candidacy in the July 20 presidential election, he said the reason he decided to contest the election was his desire to steer Afghanistan out of its multiple crises, implement reforms and bring peace to the country.
He said would work to ensure the pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan and amend the Constitution if he was elected.
Preparations for Election:
Jalili and his two running mates registered their candidacies in the July 20 presidential election on Thursday, a week after the registration process began.
Khalilullah Roman and Chiargh Ali Chiragh will run as first and second deputy presidential candidates of Jalili, who became the third nominee registering himself for the presidential race.
He told the media after his registration: “I am here to pull Afghanistan out of its crises and make it a developed and prosperous country.”
Jalili said the establishment of peace and stability, eradication of corruption, increasing public participation in power and introduction of reforms would be his priorities if he succeeded in this year’s presidential poll.
He added he was not concerned about the vote bank of his deputies, but their personalities were more important to him.
“My deputies are not involved in corruption and they are not accused of atrocities in the civil war,” he said, adding “this is everything to me.”
Chief Executive Post
Jalili termed the Chief Executive post as against the Constitution and said the post was created on the basis of a political agreement.
He said the CEO post was not part of their manifesto and all parallel institutions created in the last five years would be done away with. He said the current Chief Executive’s work in the past five years was against the Constitution.
Prime Minister Post
Jalili said he was not against change in political system as the current system had some flaws. “In the current system, the government is master and the people are like slaves, this is unacceptable.”
“The most import thing is people who should feel themselves as part of the government and changing the form of government also rests with the people”, he believed. But the current system had disappointed people who did not consider themselves as part of the system.
Government Performance
The current government headed by President Ashraf Ghani was a failed government in the history of Afghanistan, remarked Jalili. “We are in a worst situation as far as the country’s economy, political situation and security is concerned”, he said of the government’s failures.
He said the fall of Kunduz, Farah and Ghazni cities to the Taliban were among NUG’s failures and added thousands of youth lost their lives in clashes.
He said the government not only lost areas previously it controlled to the enemy but also forced the youth to flee the country. “As a result of the government’s wrong policies, many youth fled the country and some drowned in the sea waters.”
The candidate said the current government was not different from former president Hamid Karzai’s two governments.
Foreign Policy
Jalili said as part of his foreign policy, he would keep the country’s interest supreme in ties with regional and other countries and would ask foreign and neighboring countries to respect Afghanistan’s national interest.
He said the government had been unable to maintain a specific foreign policy. He added cordial relations with neighboring countries always proved to be beneficial for welfare of the peoples and bilateral trade.
“Unfortunately, we compelled our neighbors to be our enemy. We could end every enmity except the enmity with neighbors. The interest of a third country does not worth to behave like enemy with our neighboring country,” he said, adding one of their foreign policy goals would be development of cordial relations with neighboring nations.
Reforms in electoral bodies
Jalili criticized the IEC’s performance in managing the Wolesi Jirga elections and said removal of the commission’s workers was not a solution. He said workers of most of the country’s institutes were youth and they needed time to get mature.
He said the IEC needed support instead of pressure and should be guarded from influence of the Presidential Palace and other government organs.
Jalili asked the public to support the IEC against corruption and pressure from government officials.
He admitted holding the presidential election was a difficult job and the IEC should not engage itself in political, religious, tribal and regional issues and should play an impartial role.
Withdrawal of foreign forces
Jalili said foreign forces’ withdrawal would be based on peace and stability in Afghanistan. “If peace comes with the withdrawal of foreign forces, then a schedule for that purpose should be prepared.”
He said foreign funding for the Afghan forces over the last 17 years had not been enough and donor countries should increase their assistance.
“If I become president, we will eliminate corruption and prove it to the international community, I will show to the world that corruption no longer exists in Afghanistan and their assistance would not be misused,” he added.
Peace process
Jalili called peace ‘a fundamental demand’ of Afghans and said, “One of our efforts would be to establish peace in the country, if I win, our team is special because we had never been engaged in domestic conflict, which gives us leverage to bring peace.”
He said he would listen to logical demands of the Taliban and would treat them according to the law for establishing peace in Afghanistan.
“All Afghans are responsible to prevent the war from being inherited by the coming generations”, he said, adding no one would succeed or get defeated in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. “If the Taliban want amendments in the constitution, it would be consultated with the public.”
Jalili said he would accept the withdrawal of foreign forces form Afghanistan if it helps bring peace to the country.
Coalition with other electoral tickets
In response to a question whether or not he would join other electoral tickets, Jalili said, “People have chosen me to run for the presidency, such a decision would come from our people.”
“We will not join electoral tickets that have a record of bloodshed, war mongering and involvement in corruption,” he said.
Jalili said any team that supported peace could join his team but he would not join groups who make deals on people’s votes.
America’s role in choosing an Afghan president
Jalili rejected rumors the US has a role in determining the president of Afghanistan and said it was a propaganda from some political circles.
“All election issues are organized by Afghans and the US has no role in that, if we rig elections or make violations, the problems turn to us, only Afghans have their role in choosing their president,” he said.
He asked the people not to follow old and repeated faces but choose new ones in the next elections.


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