Govt Prepares 18-Member List for Supreme State Council

The Afghan government has finalized the names of eighteen people as members of the Supreme State Council, according to a document a copy of which was seen by TOLOnews.

There are 14 men and 4 women on the list.

Along with the names of President Ashraf Ghani, names of the head of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai, former jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, former vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili, former foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Fatima Gailani are on the 18-member list.

Other names are included Mohammad Mohaqiq, Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, Ata Mohammad Noor, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Mir Rahman Rahmani, Fazel Hadi Muslimyar, Hasina Safi, Fawzia Koofi, and Habiba Sarabi.

Politicians said that the key is that whether these individuals will have decision-making authority.

“These are the faces who have been in circulation over the past 20 years. There is no change in it. I don’t think these people will do something to help the government get on its own feet,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, the head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.

Sources however said that some of the political leaders among them Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Marshal Dostum, and Salahuddin Rabbani have reservations on the structure of the council. Hekmatyar, for instance, wants a smaller number of people in the council.

“If the Supreme State Council is not able to be a decision-maker body or if lacks the (executive) authority and there is a symbolic role for the political leaders, not only Mr. Marshal, but also other political leaders will not be there to participate,” said Mohammad Babur Farahmand, a top aide to Dostum.

Hekmatyar has reportedly insisted that the council should be smaller in structure. He has suggested that the council must have only eight members.

“If the quantity of the council members increases and authority is not given to it, then the existence and scientific concept for this council is rejected,” said Hafizurrahman Naqi, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.

“Those personalities who have a leverage on the country’s social, security, and political arenas should be members of this council,” said senator Mohammad Alam Ezedyar.

But, the Presidential Palace said that the list has not been finalized so far.

“Discussions are underway among the institutions. All necessary consultations will be shared and future steps will be taken based on these consultations,” said Latif Mahmoud, deputy spokesman to President Ghani.