False - Feature Stories - June 24, 2021

Establishment of martial law rule incorrect claim

KABUL (Pajhwok): Rumors regarding the establishment of martial law in the country are baseless as the Presidential Palace has rejected and termed it as propaganda while the claim supported by no credible sources.

Claim: Ghani announced martial law under the leadership of Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi.

The US State Department has recently announced that President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman High Council of National Reconciliation (CHNR) Abdullah Abdullah will visit Washington on June 25th to meet US President Joe Bidden.

Subsequently, Ghani on Monday held meeting with political and Jihadi leaders and discussed his US trip, peace talks and the Taliban recent attacks in the country.

After the meeting a large number of social media activists have said: “Government unofficially announced martial law under the leadership of Bismillah Mohammadi.” This text started circulating in the social media.

It text reads: “President Ashraf Ghani during an emergency meeting in Presidential Palaces announced martial law and handed over all executive powers of the government to Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi. The meeting was attended by President Ghani’s aides, political and Jihadi leaders.”

In addition, it was stated that Mohammadi will take charge as acting president until President Ghani returns from the US. Powers of National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and other members of the National Security Council have been suspended until the situation changes.

Fact Check:

Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Latif Mahmood told Pajhwok Afghan News that rumors regarding the establishment of martial law are propaganda and has no bases.

“During a meeting with President Ghani, political and Jihadi leaders have announced their support to democracy, peace process, and President Ghani trip to the US and stressed over unity, all other rumors are propaganda and have no bases.”

According to political affairs experts’ martial law involves the temporary substitution of military authority for civilian rule and is usually invoked in time of war, rebellion, or natural disaster.

During the military rule some laws could be suspended, new law may be introduced, special military courts are established and public movement is restricted.

Marital law ruler introduces martial law usually to suppress elements that hamper the law and order situation in the country.

Political Affairs Expert Ahmad Saeedi said establishment of martial law is not possible in Afghanistan because it is against the constitution. He, however, said the president declare emergency in compliance to the country law.

Article 143 of the constitution says: “If because of war, threat of war, serious rebellion, natural disasters or similar conditions, protection of independence and national life become impossible through the channels specified in this Constitution, the state of emergency shall be proclaimed by the President, throughout the country or part thereof, with endorsement of the National Assembly. If the state of emergency continues for more than two months, the consent of the National Assembly shall be required for its extension.”

Saeedi said: “The period of emergency rule is three months but it could be extended in time of need while the announcement of military government is not possible and there is no place for such government in the constitutions.”

Outcome: No credible media outlet reported the establishment of martial law in the country, while the propaganda is circulating in the social media is baseless and did not derive from a credible source. The Presidential Palace also termed the rumor as propaganda. Political affairs experts say that the establishment of military government in the country is against the constitution and not possible.

Verdict: Incorrect, baseless

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Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat

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