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Four Presidential Candidates Take Part in Second TV Debate

KABUL – Four Afghan presidential candidates participated in the second televised TOLOnews debate on Tuesday night, exchanging views on the country’s security and domestic politics ahead of the April vote. The candidates went head-to head into testy exchanges during the debate, which touched on security, corruption, women’s rights. The candidates answered questions for nearly two hours from moderator MujahidKakar.

Four Presidential Candidates Take Part in

Four presidential candidates – DaoudSultanzoy, former member of Parliament, Mohammad Nader Naeem, nephew of President Daoud Khan, Hedayat Amin Arsala, former Minister of Finance and QotbuddinHelal, formerly a leader of Heszb-i-Islami – participated in the second debate. Five other candidates participated in the first debate and two others have not participated.

Security, corruption, peace talks with Taliban insurgents and women’s rights were the main subjects of the debate as the NATO foreign troops are to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and Afghan security forces will take over full security responsibility. On security, Hedayat Amin Arsala said: “Cooperation between difference security forces should exist, defense, interior ministries and the National Directorate of Security.”

“Motivation has been one of the main problems of the security forces….. Threats force 30,000 troops to leave every year,” said DaoudSultanzoy. “Government needs to decrease gap and insecurity between people and government by providing services,” said Mohammad Nader Naeem. Hedayat Amin Arsala said: “The people of Afghanistan want peace and that will be our priority.”

On peace talks with the Taliban, the candidates had different views. Naeem said: “There are different groups that operate within Taliban. There are groups that take advantage of the insecurity of Afghanistan. There are two groups to Taliban, one that wants peace and the other doesn’t.”

“Taliban can issue fatwas that we aren’t Muslims and the Taliban was a tool to serve the local and international intelligence which turned into ideology later on. The people of Afghanistan need to move towards a national goal, so that the Taliban are driven to the margins,” said Sultanzoy. (Tolonews)

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