President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday renewed his call for both presidential runners to conclude a deal on forming a government of national unity as soon as possible.
Speaking at an event marking the beginning of the Martyrs Week at the Loya Jirga tent in Kabul, the outgoing president said his tenure was over and the country urgently needed a new leader to take over.
Both presidential runners Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, leaders of different political parties and prominent jihadi figures were also present at the ceremony.
Karzai urged the feuding presidential hopefuls to establish a new government at the earliest possible. “It will be in our interest if they can reach an agreement today; it is good for us,” he remarked.
He requested the audience to push the candidates to end the electoral deadlock. “Ask them loudly to clinch a deal. Tell them to go ahead and steer the country out of this standoff…Both of you are respectable to us; you have to form a new set-up...”
The president hoped that Abdullah and Ahmadzai would arrive at consensus in a day or two and the new leader would be inaugurated this week. “God willing, we will have a new government this week.”
Speaking about the Martyrs Week, he hailed Ahmad Shah Massoud as a patriotic man of strong character. “He will remain alive in our minds forever,” Karzai added.
As a result of the sacrifice offered by martyrs, Afghanistan had become stable and peaceful, he said, calling for the people to contribute to the country’s reconstruction.