Jamiat faction elects Noor as chairman

KABUL (Tolo News): A faction within the Jamiat-e-Islami party led by Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province, picked Noor as the chairman to lead the party. Voting was held among Jamiat-e-Islami supporters in Kabul and Noor secured 65 out of 75 votes.

Abdul Hafiz Mansour secured 7 votes and Qadria Yazdanparast got 3 votes. However, another faction of Jamiat-e-Islami which is led by Salahuddin Rabbani boycotted the meeting. Gunfire interrupted a meeting of Jamiat-e-Islami members in Kabul who belong to the faction led by Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province.

The fighting started at 10:20 am local time while the participants of the meeting were gathering, and continued until around 1:00pm, according to a TOLOnews reporter. “Six people came to the yard outside the hotel and started shooting,” eyewitnesses said, adding that “one person was wounded in the shooting.”

Some members of the Jamiat-e-Islami’s faction of Noor said that “the people were against holding the gathering under the leadership of Mr. Noor.” “The gunmen wanted to interrupt the gathering. Four people have been arrested and two others will be arrested soon,” said Alam Khan Azadi, an MP from Balkh and one of the participants of the gathering.  The shooting continued for hours, and eventually the special forces arrived at the scene to control the situation, according to eyewitnesses.

Three people have been killed and four others were wounded in the gunfight, said sources. Noor, Mohammad Ismail Khan, a former mujahideen leader and former Herat governor, and the former vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni–as well as several other political leaders–attended the congress.

The rift between Salahuddin Rabbani, who is the acting head of Jamiat, and Noor, the CEO of the party, developed eight months ago over the issue of holding a congress. After the rift between Rabbani and Noor, the party has split, with both factions operating independently.  Rabbani was made the acting leader of the party after his father and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani’s death in an explosion at the senior Rabbani’s house in Kabul in 2011.

On Sunday night, four key leaders from Jamiat-e-Islami who broke into two factions eight months ago held a session behind closed doors to discuss their differences and the country’s peace process, a member of the party said. The unity of the party and the role of the party in the peace talks were part of the discussions in the meeting attended by Rabbani, Noor, Qanooni and Ahmad Zia Massoud, according to Jamiat members who attended the meeting. The leaders determined that Jamiat would be deprived of a key role in the country’s political developments if it failed to solve its differences, the source said.

The meeting was held at Zalmay Mujaddedi’s house, who is a member of the party. The members of Jamiat’s leadership council said that they will announce their views on the US-proposed draft for peace and Blinken’s letter to President Ghani.