Talibs to unlikely partake in Afghanistan's elections

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 5 / Trend , D.Ibrahimova/

Representatives of the Taliban movement will unlikely participate in the presidential elections in Afghanistan and refuse from arms, until an agreement is reached between the government and Talibs.

"I see no incentive for the Taliban to lay down their arms at this time," American Expert on Afghanistan Robert Canfield told Trend . "I don't think that the Taliban as such will participate in the elections."

On May 4, UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Kai Eide urged Talibs to lay down the arms and participate in presidential elections to be held in Afghanistan in August. The representative said it may lead to stabilization of the situation in the country. On the same day, Current President Hamid Karzai officially confirmed his participation in the elections.

The Taliban movement is struggling to form the Islamic state in Pakistan and withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan which are in this country since 2001. The movement organized murderous assault on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in April and blast at the Indian Embassy in August 2008.

Experts are skeptic on opportunities of the Talibs' participation in the elections and their refusal from arm.

"They should [lay down arms] and I wish they would, but in fact they seem to feel they are doing quite well, especially those Taliban who are fighting with the Pakistanis over institution sharia law in Swat and elsewhere," Professor of Washington University in St Louis Canfield wrote to Trend in an email.

Pakistani President Asif Zardari signed a bill, under which sharia law was applied to the Malakand province which comprises 6 north-western regions, including Swat.

In February 2009, the Talibs were promised to apply the sharia lows instead of canceling military actions in this province, but the bill was signed only in April, because the western countries which support Zardari were against of this deal.

In fact, of course the Talibs want to take control of Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan and they have generally been too successful to be willing to lay down their arms, Canfield believes. 

According to the intelligence center - Senlis Council (London), the Taliban military presence was noted in 54 percent territory of Afghanistan in 2007. The bulk of the Taliban based in Pakistan, in a zone of "independent tribal" (FATA) in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Afghanistan.

The views on Taliban's successful participation in the elections are different in Afghanistan. There is no national unity in a country to invite the Taliban to participate in elections - it is absurd, said Khalid Pashtoon, a member of the Senate, Vice-President of the Committee on Internal Security in Afghanistan. In his view, while the Taliban did not sign a contract with the Government and with representatives of international organizations, their participation in the elections will yield no results.

The Afghan government shares quite different view.

The Afghanistan government has welcomed Kai Aida's words, Siyamak Herawi, Deputy Representative of President Hamid Karzai told Trend over phone. If the Taliban want to participate in the presidential election, and if the solution to the conflict with the Taliban will be decided through political means, Afghanistan will support this, he said.

According to Pashtoon, the lack of security, as well as the possible fraud of elections and distrust to presidential candidates besides Karzai, is the main obstacles on the way to hold presidential elections in Afghanistan. The population does not know them [candidates] well, Pashtoon told Trend over phone.

As regards the situation in Afghanistan after the election, observers believe that it largely depends on the situation in Pakistan. "It is difficult to determine how the situation will change, while the situation in Pakistan will not change, said Kanfild. Pakistani military seems unable or unwilling to destroy the Taliban, so the Taliban could use this to its advantage against the Pakistani Army."

In accordance with July 2001 report of the International Independent Organization for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Interagency Intelligence of Pakistan, the main intelligence body of the country subsidized Taliban military operations, trained their soldiers, provided them with equipment and fuel, and directly supported a number of military operations.

Only three presidential candidates were able to be registered in the CEC of Afghanistan. Registration of candidates officially began on April 25 and will end on Friday. About 60 candidates have expressed a willingness to participate in the elections, but as long as the representatives of the CEC reported that they were unable to obtain all the necessary documents. Candidates for the presidency, in addition to the current head of state Hamid Karzai, now the general Shahnavaz Tanan and leader of the movement of Turkic-speaking population of Afghanistan Turk Tabaré Akbarbai.

D.Khatinoglu contributed in the article.

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