Sherzai says in talks with rivals on alliance

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Gul Agha Sherzai on Monday said he was in talks with a number of rival candidates on forming an election alliance and the outcome would be known soon.
 “We are in negotiations with Abdul Rahim Wardak, Hidayat Amin Arsala, Qutbuddin Hilal and others to make an alliance. I will not quit in anyone’s favour,” Sherzai told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview.
Sherzai, who arrived in eastern Nangarhar province as part of his campaign, came hard on President Hamid Karzai for his unstable domestic and foreign policies.
“Karzai sometimes calls Pakistan as a brotherly country and sometimes as an enemy,” he said, adding corrupt individuals and warlords held key government positions during Karzai’s government.
 “Criminal groups trained during the incumbent president’s tenure will create many problems after foreign troops are left,” he said.
He viewed the ongoing peace process as a futile practice, saying the High Peace Council (HPC) was comprised of individuals, who had earlier fought against the Taliban.  
He said the appointment of Salahudin Rabbani as the HPC chief after his father’s assassination was part of the government’s political compromises.
After winning elections, Sherzai plans to invite impartial tribal elders and religious scholars from across the country to a jirga which will be tasked with advancing the dialogue process with the Taliban and other armed opposition groups. 
The former Nangarhar and Kandahar governor said Afghanistan’s future was linked to transparent elections and urged the masses to exercise their right to vote.