Former Afghan security chief considering bid for presidency

Former Afghan security chief considering bid for presidency

Former Afghan national security adviser Hanif Atmar met in Dubai recently with the opposition Jamiat-e-Islami party to seek backing for a presidential bid next year, The National has learned.

Mr Atmar resigned from his post last week citing concerns over the security situation and political stability in Afghanistan, which will hold parliamentary elections in October and a presidential election next April.

The exact timing of his meeting with Jamiat-e-Islami in Dubai is not clear, but a well connected Afghan political analyst who asked to remain anonymous and sources in the party told The National it was held in the past two months.

Mr Atmar asked Jamiat representatives to support his candidacy in the presidential election, the analyst said. “But he wasn’t happy with the results and couldn’t get the support of Jamiat.”

The Jamiat sources confirmed the meeting took place but did not reveal the agenda or the outcome.

Mr Atmar’s background worked against him, according to the analyst. In his youth Mr Atmar, 49, worked with the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan as a member of KHAD (Khadamat-e-Aetlat-e-Dawlati), the former Afghan intelligence agency that was controlled by the Soviet Union’s KGB spy agency.

On the other hand, Jamiat is comprised mostly of former members of the Afghan mujahideen that fought against the Soviet invasion.

Read full report on The National UAE