Wednesday, March 10, 2004

WHAT'S GOING ON IN KABUL? CONTINUED... A friend of mine e-mails an interview with Mohaqiq that was published in the Hizb-e-Wahdat's official newspaper on January 20th. The translation is as follows...

A: A huge circle of intellectuals and mujahideen are encouraging to contest the election. I think there is no other obstacle in this regards. The constitution allows me to do so and now with the blessings of God there is national unity in Afghanistan. I as a proud Hazara will be a candidate for the presidential elections and I ask our other brotherly ethnic Afghans to vote for me. The other reason for me running for president is that I want to prove that being Hazara is no longer crime in this country and one Hazara can contest the presidential election.

Q: We have been hearing the news of reshuffling of the cabinet in the government. Do you have any information about this and what is your views on this?

A: I don't have any information about any changes in the cabinet but in my personal view this is not important to me. The Ministry is just a tool to serve the people and you can serve the people by a lot of other means.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Amin Tarzi also notes that Mohaqiq "is running for president as an independent candidate. Mohaqeq... said that he is 'not a candidate of Hizb-e Wahdat or any other group.' Factionalism does not appeal to the Afghan people and, therefore, he has chosen to run as an independent candidate, Mohaqeq said. The former mujahedin said he has 'been on the frontlines against the Soviet Union and the [Afghan] communists...[and he] defended the people in the resistance against the Taliban.' Since it was not just one tribe or group of Afghans that fought against communism and terrorism, he hopes to secure votes from all strata of population, Mohaqeq said. Mohaqeq said he hopes the Information and Culture Ministry will provide all candidates equal access to the media."

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