On Monday, President Ghani accepted the resignation of Atta Mohammad Noor, the governor of northern Balkh province and chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan Party, a move labeled by Jamiat in a statement as “hasty, irresponsible, and against the stability and security of the country”. Nonetheless, Noor’s reaction was even more serious vowing to resist the dismissal decision, and also threatened the government while speaking to a gathering of his loyalists. Noor said he was still the governor, calling on his supporters to resort to civil movements for now. If his demands were not satisfied by the government, he warned he had “other options on the table”. He also urged Afghan forces and the international community to stay away from the issue.
In case of dismissal, all officials who view government positions as a privilege and source of income other than a responsibility share such reaction. Many government leaders, including Noor, see government position as their “personal asset” which no one reserves the right to take away. While they always talk about rule of law and justice with the aim to play with public perceptions, they are not ready to accept legal actions against themselves, and they think it is their exclusive right to challenge the central government when their personal interests are threatened. Another problem with these people is that when they face justice, their allies and those with whom they share interests either in or outside the government swing into action and challenge rule of law to rescue them.
With the serious reaction from Noor and his Jamiat party, Noor’s dismissal becomes a matter of prestige for the government. The government, using all legal means, should preclude Noor from staying in governorship, thereby saving the prestige not only of the president but also of the whole government from being trampled upon by a warlord.