Kabul, April 24 — The first joint convention for presidential campaign was called by Hizb-e-Wahdat (Unity Party) and Junbish-e-Milli in West Kabul on Friday. Leaders of both the parties spoke to the large number of Hazara participants.
Noorullah Saadat of Junbish said they would support Wahdat and both would endorse a unanimous candidate for the presidential race 2009. It has been reported that Ismailis of Afghanistan have also supported the Wahdat-Junbish Alliance. An overwhelming majority of Ismailis of Afghanistan are Hazaras.
Chairman of Wahdat Party, Mr. Muhaqiq, said both the parties share common goals and would support the candidate that best promotes them. Mohaqiq reiterated his commitment to the alliance despite being approached by several elements, including Karzai, asking for his support.
He enumerated the joint charter of demands, reproduced in part below:
Decentralization of Power: Provinces should be given more power. Governors and district heads should be elected by the people.
Balanced Development and Reconstruction: Development and reconstruction should be fair, and funds should be allocated based on need rather than ethnic or political considerations. The Hazarajat Highway from Kabul to Herat should be built.
Muhaqiq condemned the government’s attempts to block reconstruction projects funded by international donors in Hazara areas.
Equitable representation for Hazaras: Mr. Muhaqiq said he contested the Presidential election of 2004, gaining 12% of all votes. He added that other Hazara leaders such as Vice President Khalili, Mr. Javed, Akbari and Anwari supported Mr. Karzai, which diverted 10% of Hazara votes. All in all, Hazaras constitute 22% of the electorate and should therefore be given a share in power and resources accordingly.