Since the inauguration of the National Unity Government (NUG), both the president and his chief executive officer have largely tried to dodge the questions of people and media. Even if they have faced such questions, their answers have not been satisfactory. Even in the third year of their term, they use slogans as if their rule will continue at least for another decade.
President Ghani’s behavior with media representative and his refusal to take the question of a journalist has provoked serious concerns. Addressing a press conference Sunday in Kabul, President Ghani refused to answer the question of a reporter of a local media organization about rule of law, and also did not allowed another journalist to ask a question outside the presser’s theme.
The president’s attitude not only is in contradiction with the Constitution that has guaranteed the freedom of speech, but also the Law on Access to Information which he himself has endorsed. This is not the first instance of the maltreatment of the president and the National Unity Government with the media; there were some reports that the government was seeking media’s censorship through pressures.
The freedom of speech and operation of media organizations is unquestionably the greatest achievement of the last decade and a half, accomplished through a lot of sacrifices that need to be respected. Embracing such a stance against the media by the president in particular and the government in general can also threaten this great accomplishment. If the president cannot provide facilities to the journalist in terms of their access to information, he should not at least augment problems for them. If he is not able to make more gains, he should not put the existing achievements at stake.