Truth and Justice (Afghanistan)
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The Truth and Justice Party or Hezb-e-Haq-wa-Adalat (also known as Rights and Justice Party) is a political party in Afghanistan. The party is multi-ethnic. Its members come from various ethnic groups, representing the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Balochs and Nuristanis. Although led by a leadership council, the most prominent member and possible presidential candidate of the party is former interior minister under President Karzai and National Security Advisor under President Ghani Hanif Atmar.
The party was founded in 2010 by Hanif Atmar and Abbas Noyan as a reformist opposition to the government of President Karzai. The former interior minister and former people's representative came together to create a multi-ethnic political party, advocating against rampant corruption that had resulted in increased insecurity and economic underdevelopment. The party was officially launched in late 2011 after 14 months of preparation leading up to the official announcement at a two-day conference of 420 delegates. The party announced itself to be "reformist" and "opposition;" though there was no manifesto or policy direction issued at its launch. According to Radio Free Europe, the party seeks to challenge the Change and Hope party led by Abdullah Abdullah in opposition to the government of President Hamid Karzai and its rampant corruption.
One of its spokesmen, Hamidullah Farooqi, stated that the party seeks to "fulfill people’s hopes and needs in the political, economic, and social spheres of life. Those values that have unfortunately been neglected by the current government. We hope our political formation will be a healthy opposition in the political arena."
The party's official launch a week before the commencement of the traditional Loya Jirga called by Karzai and just before the Bonn Conference in December was read as a show of force of their presence and that they have say in the Afghanistan's future.
The Afghan political analyst Nasrullah Stanekzai suggested the party would struggle to gain legitimacy as "people in Afghanistan have had very bad experiences with political parties in the past. Between 1978 [when leftists gained power] until the period of the mujahedin [sic], not only have political parties not worked for the people, but they have actively worked against them bringing them war and destruction." He added that the political culture in Afghanistan would need more time to develop following years of political turmoil. Another local political commentator, Yunus Fakor, said that the emergence of new blocs in Afghan politics, including the Truth and Justice party and the National Front of Afghanistan, was a "positive trend" ahead of the 2014 presidential election.
However, the political activist and former chief of staff of the Foreign Ministry, Wahid Monawar, said that there was no clear direction of the party as "communicating one's platform is a vital part of any political party or campaign in order to succeed. While critique of [the] Karzai administration is a departing point, it's fundamentally important to communicate one's platform. I was hoping to read some ideas on how to influence policies that are different than Karzai's." It was also criticised for its lack of an agenda or debate against the incumbent government.
Truth and Justice, in opposition to Change and Hope, seeks reconciliation talks with rebel groups on the premise that they would be transparent and will not "sacrifice justice." It also said that it would support further cooperation with international forces as led by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) within the country, but would insist on Afghani sovereignty and the maintenance of regional relationships and the US-Afghan strategic agreement. It also says it supports traditional system of the Loya Jirga in place and the "constitutional right" of the president, even though the constitution does not have such a privilege.
There are 45 members of its interim council. Its four spokesman are: Abbas Noyan (Hazara and former Member of Parliament), Hamidullah Farooqi (Pashtun and former Minister of Economy), Assadullah Walwalji (Uzbek) and Shujauddin Khorassani (Tajik). Sardar Roshan is the head and Asadullah Walwaji is the deputy head of the party.
Notable members include Sima Samar, a woman’s and human rights advocate, activist and a social worker within national and international forums, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs of Afghanistan from December 2001 to 2003. She is currently the Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), and, from 2005 to 2009, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan
Other prominent members Hanif Atmar, Abbas Noyan, former Member of Parliament, Ehsanullah Zia, former Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Hamidullah Farooqi, former Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Sardar Roshan, Advisor to the President, and Kabir Ranjbar, who dissolved his Democratic Party to join the Truth and Justice party.
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- Siddique, Abubakar. "Afghanistan Gets Another New Political Party". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Bezhan, Frud (2011-11-27). "New 'Truth and Justice' Party Looks To Shake Up Afghan Politics". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2012-03-05.