Ghani under fire after comments on Marshal Fahim
Hate Speech - September 22, 2019

Ghani under fire after comments on Marshal Fahim

KABUL (Pajhwok): Incumbent president and presidential candidate Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s remarks that he defied former Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim’s orders when he was finance minister, has led to verbal clashes among social media users.

Ghani served as Afghanistan’s Finance Minister from 2002 till 2004 and during this period Fahim served as first vice president and defence minister. The VP died in March 2014.In his election gathering, President Ashraf Ghani said he stood against the orders of Fahim and tore one of his written orders in front of him and Cabinet members.

“When I became finance minister and arrived at a meeting, Fahim ordered that two vehicles should be exempted from customs duty. I tore the written order in front of him and told him that after this I am finance minister.”

Ghani continued: “Next time Fahim came and said I have 500,000 soldiers and demanded salary for them. I told him that you even don’t have 50,000 and I swear I did not pay for one year, finally Fahim came and said you have no interest in money, woman and land, what should I do with you, I replayed follow rules and principles.”

Fahim’s foundation response

The Foundation of Fahim issued a statement and termed Ghani’s statement as irresponsible and hate-speech.

“In line with Fahim’s vision which was partnership, co-existence, we condemn the remarks of Ashraf Ghani as against political morality and values of the people of Afghanistan and status of the president of an Islamic country.”The statement said Fahim played a fundamental role in establishment of the Islamic republic, Afghan National Army and stressed partnership, co-existence, peace and national unity. Fahim’s love for religion and country was known to the people of Afghanistan very well.Fahim’s foundation termed Ghani’s remarks as part of his election campaign and for public consumption. Separately, Syed Abdullah Hashami, head of the Majmoa-i-Melli Afghanistan party, during a gathering asked Ghani to seek forgiveness from the people of Afghanistan after his disgracing comments regarding Fahim.  He warned that Ghani will face public reaction if he declined to tender apology.

Former President Hamid Karzai also showed reaction to Ghani’s remarks and wrote on his Facebook page: “Unfortunately, inappropriate comments are said during an election campaign gathering.”

“I know Marshal Fahim who served as first vice president during my tenure as a dignified, committed, religious and country-loving personality who preferred the interest of Afghanistan and believed in national unity. Fahim would often say in some part of Afghanistan, people call stone (sang in Dari) and in some part they call it (Dabara, Pashto version). We are the leaders of both of them,” wrote Karzai.

Public reaction on social media:

Some social media users condemned President Ghani’s remarks while some hailed Ghani’’s remarks and criticized Fahim.

Sher Pacha Tarboz on his Facebook page used harsh words against Ghani and wrote that Ghani could never tear Fahim’s orders when the later was alive.  Some other users expressed similar views in the support of Fahim.

But Alauddin Jahansuri, one of the Facebook users in his counter comment to Fahim’s supporters, said Fahim might have said it. “You and me have no information.”

Sahab Arya, a social media activist in response to Fahim’s supporters wrote: “Fahim held greater power than the president at the time but did he carry out any reconstruction project.”

Mohammad Eltemas replayed to one of Fahim’s supporters: “Fahim was conferred the tite of leader of Mujahideen, which is not acceptable. This title is very heavy for a person who you believe is a contender for this.”

Consequences of provocative comments:

University lecturer Wadir Safi said proactive and hate comments about individuals who were no more alive caused emotional outrage.

“In our society everyone is powerful, there is the possibility that these people may react which will be more destructive than the comments of their opposition.”

Javed Ghafoor, spokesman for President Ghani’s election team, said he did not want to speak on this issue at the movement.

Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat

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