ISLAMABAD, Oct 23 (NNI):
Chief of the National Islamic Front
of Afghanistan (NIFA) Pir Seyed Ahmad Gailani, leader has called a meeting
of a number of Afghan groups in Peshawar on Wednesday (October 24) to
discuss future set-up in Afghanistan, the group said Tuesday.
The prospective coalition members are expected to include representatives
of some of the Afghan mujahidin factions from the 1980s, along with a
representative of the former king.
Pir Gailani, known for his support for Mohammad Zahir Shah, the former
king, hopes to create a new coalition to bring about national unity in
According to NIFA sources, Pir Gailani is seeking the support of the
moderates within the Taliban regime who would be prepared to break away
from Mullah Mohammad Omar, the reclusive Taliban leader known for his
hardline policies, such as prohibiting women from engaging in most
professions, reports IRIN.
The arrival in Islamabad of Hedayat Amin Arsala, representative of the
former king, ahead of the meeting, has strengthened speculation that
Pakistan, once averse to the king, now stands ready to support a new
government to be led by him. In a meeting on Monday with Abdul Sattar,
Pakistan's foreign minister, Arsala is believed to have said that a future
Afghan government would protect Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan.
This latest initiative to
restore Afghanistan's monarchy is primarily driven by the interest in the
establishment of a stable government capable of rescuing the country from
years of destruction and continuing uncertainty.
It is this uncertainty which has triggered frequent rounds of fighting
between rival Afghan groups struggling to seize power. It has also been at
the centre of concern on the part of donors over the prospect of
large-scale economic assistance going to waste in the wake of political
Humanitarian and relief agencies will need improved security conditions as
a first prerequisite to launch large-scale operations in Afghanistan,
especially ahead of the onset of winter. A stable government representing
a cross section of Afghans and headed by the former king is proposed by
his supporters as a first step towards establishing internal order in the
country, followed by efforts to put in place a national army and police
force to re-establish order.
The apparent correlation between the effort to back the former king on the
one hand and the appalling humanitarian conditions obtaining in
Afghanistan on the other, is reinforced by the country's adverse economic
conditions. According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with an
average life expectancy of about 40 and a mortality rate of about 26 per
cent for children under five, Afghanistan is one of the world's most
destitute countries. Of the world's 187 countries, only seven have a life
expectancy lower than Afghanistan's.ŚNNI