Respect people’s verdict, Massoud tells Abdullah backers

KABUL (Pajhwok): Former vice-president Zia Massoud on Wednesday congratulated presidential runner Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s camp on its expected electoral victory, asking rivals to avoid whipping up jihadi and tribal sentiments.
While greeting the Change and Continuity team at a meeting with tribal elders and influential figures from Panjsher, Parwan and Kapisa provinces, he urged Dr. Abdullah’s to refrain from acts that could plunge the country into a new crisis.
Also a leader of the Jamiat-i-Islami, Massoud said millions of Afghans had voted to elect a new president and their verdict must be respected. He hoped the Independent Election Commission (IEC) would announce his team’s triumph.
Massoud, who ran as Zalmai Rassoul’s first vice-president in the second round, swung behind Ashraf Ghani. On the other hand, Rassoul lent his weight to Dr Abdullah.
Massoud warned the country would plunge into a crisis and remain backward if people’s votes were not respected. Such a reaction would amount to a national betrayal, he remarked.
Respecting people’s verdict and the election commissions’ decisions was the responsibility of everyone, he said, adding that polls alone could lead the country to political stability, security and economic revival.
A brother of former jihadi hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud, he called the victory of Ahmadzai the victory of all mujahidin. Losing or winning the election was part of democracy and it should not cause tribal or political tension.
“We should not use illegal ways to grab power. If we lose, we should embrace the culture of acceptance. Anything the nation wants should be accepted … We should not fuel chaos,” Massoud continued.
Coming to power through illegal means was against the national interest, he observed. “Afghanistan is not the fiefdom of a handful of individuals. Afghanistan belongs to all Afghans,”

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