Afghan Biographies

National Front of Afghanistan NFA

Name National Front of Afghanistan NFA
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background NFA Relaunch
History and Biodata

A renewed political coalition called " National Front of Afghanistan" (Jabha-e Milli-e Afghanistan) came into being on 20111111 to challenge the present administration run by President Hamid Karzai. The convention held in the big hall of "Sitare Shar" accommodated around two thousand people and has been the largest anti Karzai meeting so far. A majority of the audience appear to have been Uzbeks and Hazaras, with only small numbers of (eastern) Pashtuns and Tajiks.  This reflects the balance of the parties and leaders in the coalition, ie major Uzbek and Hazara and only minor Pashtun and Tajik figures. The Front’s declaration calls for a prime ministerial, parliamentary system, with an increase in the authority of provincial councils and governors, a change to a proportional electoral system and reforms to the judiciary.

Leadership of the platform, teamed by former Vice President Ahmad Zia Masoud, legislator and leader of the People's Unity Party of Afghanistan Hajji Mohammad Mohaqiq, former strongman of the north and head of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan General Abdul Rashid Dustam, former spy agency chief Amrullah Saleh and tribal leader Hajji Aman Khairi from eastern Nangahar province, had criticized the Karzai government for what they described "a failed administration" and advocated for the decentralization of power. The spokesman of General Dustam at the meeting was Azizullah Kargar, the new chairman of the Junbish Mili Islami party elected 20130224.

Azizullah Kargar has been appointed and is heading the National Islamic Movement Party of Afghanistan.(20130216)

It is the second political opposition front that has been formed to challenge the Karzai government. The first political coalition titled "Coalition for Hope and Change" established a couple of years ago and is headed by President Karzai's main challenger in the previous presidential election Abdullah Abdullah. It has also been advocating for parliamentary system.

Masud, an ethnic Tajik, is the younger brother of late Ahmad Shah Masud, the noted guerrilla commander who fought the Red Army and the Taliban in the 1980s and 1990s. His alliance with ethnic Hazara leader Mohaqiq and Uzbek strongmen Dostum echoes of the Northern Alliance, the coalition of warring militias that united to fight the Taliban after its emergence in the mid-1990s.

The National Front shares common ground with other opposition groups with connections to the Northern Alliance. Its main objective of replacing the current directly elected presidential system with a parliamentary democracy, in which the prime minister runs the government, is identical to the Coalition for Hope and Change, headed by former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. This group is now considered the main opposition bloc.

Highlighting its opposition to the administration of President Hamid Karzai, the new political group announced a boycott of next week's loya jirga (20111115), or grand council. The gathering of tribal leaders and politicians is tasked with finding national consensus on a long-term U.S. military presence and the future of negotiations with Taliban.

Two months after the death of Burhanuddin Rabbani, his old coalition, the National Front of Afghanistan (Jebha-ye Melli Afghanistan), has been revived. The new grouping is calling for radical political reform in order, as they see it, to re-enfranchise the Afghan voter. They want decentralization,a proportional voting system and a prime minister. At the same time, the move can be seen as an attempt by three northern leaders who have experienced serious political setbacks in recent years to re-energise their careers: former first vice president, and member of Jamiat-e Islami, Ahmad Zia Massud, the founder of Jombesh party General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Muhammad Muhaqqiq, leader of one branch of Hezb-e Wahdat and an MP for Kabul. The Front is also interesting for who is not in it, although several key players from the 2007 incarnation of the Front are now missing.

The revived Front looks like the best stage for Massud to reassert himself in a leadership role among the former mujahedin. Jamiatis who follow Massud will probably join the Front, but – as is usual in Afghanistan – probably not give up their Jamiat membership. Marshal Fahim, the first vice president, and Ustad Atta the governor of Balkh who dominates the north, have huge capacity to attract Jamiatis and reward their loyalty; Dr. Abdullah, the main rival of President Karzai in the 2009 elections, still has relevant connections with several Jamiatis and even Ahmad Zia’s brother Ahmad Wali Massud supports him. Furthermore, there are other Jamiati leaders who own their own pieces of the party’s constituency: Yunus Qanuni, Amrullah Saleh and the current acting minister of Water and Energy Ismail Khan. This can give an idea of what is left for Ahmad Zia to take of Jamiat, once one takes out the share of Salahuddin Rabbani too.

Last Modified 2013-06-19
Established 2011-11-11