Mazar–A grand public gathering of around 70,000 supporters of Hizb-e-Wahdat and Junbish e Milli was held in Ali’s Shrine (Blue Mosque) of Mazar-e-Sharif on Friday. Hazara and Uzbek supporters pledged to vote for Karzai. The rally—the largest in the history of Mazar city–was attended by the members of parliament and leaders of Wahdat and Junbish, Haji Muhammad Mohaqiq, a Hazara politician and Noorullah Sadaat, a Uzbek leader of Junbish. The enthusiastic participation of people in the electoral rally was historic.
Haji Mohaqiq urged the masses to vote for Karzai saying he is the most suitable candidate among other contenders for the office of Presidency. Noorullah Sadaat also urged the people of Mazar city to cast their votes to Karzai. He said, “comparing all the presidential candidates, Karzai is the best.”
Just minutes before the leaders of the said parties come for address, police arrested two suicide bombers from near the rally. Two others reportedly escaped. Tight security was chalked out with heavy police deployment in and around the Shrine. Police sources say security measures have been steered up as the election campaigns are gaining momentum.
Wahdat and Junbish parties had announced an alliance last month. Majority supporters of both the parties are Hazaras and Uzbeks, two of the largest ethnic groups of Afghanistan.
In a joint press conference in April 2009, leaders of both parties said they would support a joint candidate for the presidency. Later they made an understanding with Karzai for their demands. Leaders of the parties, Haji Mohaqiq of Wahdat secured 11.7% of total votes in the last presidential election when he was a candidate. While, General Dostum got 10% of the total votes in 2004 presidential elections.