Ethnic Tensions Rise as MPs Call for Inclusivity at Turkey Summit

Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan Parliament, said that the delegation that is expected to attend the Turkey conference should be inclusive and that it should defend Afghans’ interests and the gains of the last two decades.

The choice of delegation members has created tension among lawmakers who went into details on the issue during their Monday session.

“The level of the presence of ethnic groups should be considered in the delegation formation because it is not good to have 90% of one side from one respected ethnic group and 50% of the government side also represent one respected ethnic group,” said Nilofar Ibrahimi, an MP from Badakhshan.

“The Taliban, who see themselves as representatives of the respected ethnic group of Pashtuns, have not represented this ethnic group and they will not be able to,” said Khan Agha Rezaee, an MP from Kabul.

Some legislators said that people should not be so excited about the Turkey conference, because according to them, final decisions “are made by other countries.”

“The proposals from us have no importance for them. They have made their decision and they know what evil to impose on this country,” said Ramazan Bashardost, an MP from Kabul.

“Afghans are the victims of this land but those countries benefit from it who have kept fueling the war,” said Mamur Ahmadzai, an MP from Baghlan.

Other MPs meanwhile were criticized for regarding the Taliban as one ethnic group.

“Pashtuns are the real people of this soil and have sacrificed for this country and have maintained this country. All ethnic groups including Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara have sacrificed, but such statements are not good because you clearly call one ethnic group terrorists,” said Khalid Asad, an MP from Paktika.

“Read the research written by foreigners and see who are the original people of Afghanistan. We have many things to say but is there anyone to believe in logic?” asked Ziauddin Aryaeenezhad, an MP from Samangan.

Such statements disrupted the session. Following this, the live event was stopped for a while.

“The country is a critical situation, but despite this, they (MPs) are making such statements,” said Nazir, a Kabul resident.

“They (MPs) are talking about the issues that are not in favor of the people, in favor of [the MPs] or in favor of the country,” said Mansoor Nekmal, a Kabul resident.