What did they agree upon in Bonn?

The conference for the regulation of the Afghan conflict has finished its work in Bonn. Now it is time to sum up the results of its work.

The establishment of the provisional government is surely the most positive aspect of the conference. All groups signed the document, which is a very important issue. As it is known, all previous agreements about the distribution of power in Afghanistan did not bring any results and simply failed. It is not known how long this agreement is going to last, but it is a fact anyway. The candidacy for the position of the chairman of the government satisfied those who took part in the discussion. Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Pashtuns, was representing the interests of the former Afghani king ,Mohammad Zaher Shah, at the conference. Karzai is an educated patriot, and he is very serious regarding the issue of establishing links with other sectors of the society. It is also very important to say that the United States and the UN support his candidacy. Time will show if he is capable of being the figure to consolidate the Afghani society.

Another key subject that was discussed at the conference was the distribution of the ministerial positions, the division of power. The personal staff of the government is far from being ideal. It is not concerned with the individuals but with their ethnic origin. The largest ethnic group of Afghanistan, the Pashtuns, were represented by Zaher Shah’s followers, who is a Pashtun himself, but he has been living abroad for a long time already. Zaher Shah’s authority in Afghanistan is not as high as many people might think. The Afghan Pashtuns believe that he and his followers do not have a right to act on behalf of all Pashtuns living in Afghanistan, for when they were fighting with the Taliban for years, Zaher Shah was living abroad and did not do a thing to help his country.

Other relevant posts in the government were given to the spokesmen for the Northern Alliance, which again proved their political predominance of the current situation in Afghanistan. Abdullah will have the position of foreign minister. Yunus Qanooni will be the head of the Internal Affairs Ministry (he was the head of the delegation of the United anti-Taliban front in Bonn).

The military department will be kept under the control of the previous supervisor, Mohammad Fahim. The most interesting thing here is that two posts in the provisional government, deputy chairman of the government and the minister for healthcare, were given to women.

The Western press stressed that the new ministers were young and educated people. Therefore, one may come to the conclusion that there will soon be a fight between the traditionalists (like Rabbani, for instance) and the young reformers.

The future of the country will a lot depend on their activity on the new positions. The Guardian wrote that there was a huge responsibility on those people: “Will they be able to take into accountthe interests of the country as a whole and not the interests of their own groups, at least from time to time?”

According to the latest information, the fragile agreement achieved in Bonn has already shown the signs of a breakup. One of the most influential military supervisors of the Northern Alliance, General Abdul Rashid Dostum announced his boycott against the provisional Afghani government that was formed in Germany. He is not willing to share power with anyone else, as it may seem. Ethnic Pashtun spiritual leader Sayed Ahmad Gailani echoes him. He said the agreements achieved in Bonn were “not fair.” Gailani stated at a press-conference that he was not satisfied about the distribution of the ministerial posts in the provisional government of Afghanistan. He asserted that those who played a very important role in the holy war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan had not been taken into consideration at all. Therefore, as Gailani thinks, the provisional government is “unbalanced.” He set out a hope that the UN would take extra efforts with a view to create the necessary conditions for the future, fair political organization of Afghanistan. Gailani stressed that the Taliban no longer existed as a movement. At the same time, like he said, “the Talibs are a part of the Afghan nation.”

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

Reuters photo: Pashtun chief Hamid Karzai, pictured in this 2001 file photo, was named to head a new Afghan interim government during a meeting in Bonn on Wednesday