Afghanistan reborn

Nine days of negotiations have ended with a six-month executive being approved by those involved in the UN Talks on Afghanistan.

The new administration will take office on 22nd December and will govern Afghanistan for a period of six months, until a traditional meeting of tribal leaders (Loya Girga) is called by ex-King Zaher Shah. The Loya Girga will elect a government for a further period of one year, will write a new Constitution and prepare for democratic elections. Meanwhile the UN Security Council will send an international peace-keeping force to maintain law and order.

The new administration respects the ethnic composition of the country. Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai tribe (Pashtun), a supporter of Zaher Shah, is the head of the government, composed by 30 members. 11 of these are Pashtun, the ethnic group which makes up 45% of the country. Eight are Tajikhs (30%), 5 Hazara (10%) and 3 Uzbekh (5%). The other 3 places are for other tribes represented in smaller numbers.

Four parties signed the agreement. The Northern Alliance, representing the Tajikhs, Hazara and Uzbekhs and three groups of exiles. These were the Cyprus Group, composed of intellectuals backed by Iran, the Rome Group, connected to the former King, Zaher Shah and the Peshawar group, based in Pakistan.

Hamid Karzai was the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs between 1992 and 1994 in the Mujaheddin government. He spent several years in the USA, until returning to Afghanistan, where he is currently leading the final assault on Kandahar.

The Northern Alliance will have three ministries. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will be Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Mohammed Fahim will be the Minister of Defence and Yunis Qanooni will be the Minister of the Interior. All three are Tajikhs, from the Panjshir Valley.