Head of the Jirga-ye Melli-ye Solh-e Jawanan-e Afghanistan or National Youth Peace Jirga of Afghanistan:
Muhammad Sangar Amirzada (20120700)
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Daudzai on 20130817 announced his nomination for the 2014 presidential ballot. A statement from his newly established office in Kabul said Daudzai was likely to run for the top constitutional office in the April 5, 2014 election.
His office coordinator, Mohammad Sangar Amirzada, said they had not yet launched a formal campaign. But they are consulting supporters.(20130818)
Fahim Majruhi, head of the culture committee of the jirga’s secretariat and an Amirzada ally (20120721)
Zmarai Baher, the head of the secretariat and a former staff member of the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (20120721)
National Youth Peace Jirga was convened from 2 to 4 July 2012; according to the resolution, it was held on 2, 3, and 5 July. The first national Peace Jirga of Youth of Afghanistan as a national movement of the youth was organized by the civil society foundations in Kabul under the Loya Jirgah Tent. The gathering has been attended by 1700 active representatives of the youth and around one hundred local guests.
The main objective of this gathering is said to be attraction of the active youth under a single umbrella to enable them discuss important national issues of the country especially the reconciliation and coordination of their views and proposals regarding the difficulties they are faced with in the society.
The member of the jirga secretariat, Aziz-ul-Rahman Tayeb said the jirga had been ‘hijacked’ from the start, its management and resolution ‘engineered’, and the jirga politically influenced by Omar Daudzai, the former presidential chief of staff and currently Afghan ambassador to Pakistan. He said the secretariat had accepted financial assistance from Daudzai with the condition that he should not interfere in the decision-making of the secretariat and jirga, but some of his people had ‘infiltrated’ the secretariat and jirga, intending to use the gathering to support his bid for the next presidential elections.
Amirzada, who as well as being the head of the jirga, is also a member of the National Coordination Center of the Youth of Afghanistan, rejected the accusations and said the jirga had been independent financially and politically, because it was funded by young Afghan businesspeople (for example, from Afghan United Bank and Safi Landmark Hotel and Suites). He said it did not belong to or support any political leaning. In the list of donors Daudzai’s name did not appear. He said the donors paid $26,300 to finance the jirga and that the secretariat had not yet fully paid its debts to cover the costs of the event. He also pointed to the fact that nothing was said in the jirga or written in the resolution that supported the candidacy of anyone in the presidential elections.
The National Youth Peace Jirga has now become at best a weakened initiative and at worst a disaster. It also indicates that it cannot be expected that Afghanistan’s youth comes up with a unified opinion on major political matters that concern the country. As any social, political or other segment of Afghan society, it is far too differentiated, and also subjected to attempt of political instrumentalisation or manipulation.
Other Youth Organizations:
UN-supported Afghanistan Youth Parliament, the Ministry of Justice-registered social organisations Markaz-e Melli-ye Hamahangi-ye Jawanan-e Afghanistan (National Coordination Centre of the Youth of Afghanistan), many of whose leading members have been or are working in the Afghan government, and Ettehadia-ye Melli-ye Jawanan-e Afghanistan (National Union of the Youth of Afghanistan), formerly a governmental institution, which is also registered in the Ministry of Economy.