The ugly showdown in Parliament yesterday started with a scuffle among some MPs who attacked each other with bottles and shoes after a heated argument about President Karzai and his VPs. The scene was shown live on TVs and the nation watched how their elected representatives 'debate' on 'national issues' inside the lower house.
The war of words started with allegations on ethnic lines. The supposed agenda of the house session was to discuss why President Karzai doesn't respect the verdicts of parliament. As all the allegations about the parliamentary crisis of a tussle between the parliament, judiciary and the Attorney General has been put on President Karzai, most MPs were criticizing the President by calling him "sick" and out of his mind to rule the nation, therefore, MPs demanded, he should resign. They also warned to impeach the President, if he continued with ignoring their parliamentary session verdicts. According to Article 69 of the Afghan constitution, the President can be impeached by the parliament on allegation of national treason.
The story of the battle in parliament among two female MPs has rocked Kabul evening chats. The argument started when an MP from Nangarhar Aryan Yun said that all the criticism of President Karzai about the parliament crisis should also be directed at the two Vice Presidents: Qaseem Fahim and Karim Khalili, as they are also responsible. He made it ugly by starting personal attacks on Fahim saying Marshal is someone who can liberate two or three countries, but Fahim cannot defend Afghanistan in the missile attacks from Pakistan. One MP lost his temper on this, and stood to say that nobody is allowed to take name of Fahim.
Aryan Yun further said that as Vice President Karim Khalili had gone to Wardak Province in support of Hazaras regarding the Kuchi conflict, should now also go to Kunar and defend the people. He uttered some extremely ethnocentric words about the second vice president. Meanwhile, the crossfire between female MPs General Nafisa Zaki and Hamida Ahmadzai got too heated in support of President Karzai and VP Fahim and both MPs started throwing bottles and punching each other. The session of the parliament was disrupted after the scuffle. Outside the house floor, Ms Ahmadzai was saying that she would take her revenge and had brought a shoe of Nafisa as 'maal-e-ghanimat'.
This ugly episode depicts a picture of the ethnic problem deep in our political landscape and the society at large. This plague pops up sometimes, with very ugly and shameful incidents, like that of yesterday in the parliament. There is nothing ethnic about the criticism of President Karzai in the tussle with parliament. It is not because he is Pashtun, rather this standoff campaign is led by Zahir Qadeer, a Pashtun himself. Mr. Aryan Yun, Nafisa Zaki and Hamida Ahmadzai displayed a very shameful and irrational behavior, but we must admit the fact that the ethnic problem of Afghanistan is very ugly, and unfortunately we have not made efforts to address this issue in the last 10 years. In a country like Afghanistan, ethnic diversity is the ultimate factor of national unity, which we have to build yet.