Loya Jirga and Ministers
Debate and discussions in the loya jirga has changed the Afghan political scene.
Some 1,500 representatives, elected or appointed from 32 provinces, gathered under a tent, over a week in Kabul.
Many spoke passionately about their desire for peace, security, reconstruction and justice.
Some complained bitterly about the Taleban, the warlords and their cruelty.
Some shouted, cursed or threatened their opponents who were sitting a few yards away.

Human Rights Watch was especially concerned about the safety of the hundreds of delegates who courageously withstood the intimidation of the warlords but will soon return to villages, towns and cities across Afghanistan where warlords continue to wield power.
Many delegates spoke to Human Rights Watch about their fear of returning to districts where the specter of violence looms large. One woman told Human Rights Watch that the security measures in Kabul gave her the courage to be outspoken, but she now fears returning to her city of origin. Other delegates who were vocal in their criticisms of regional commanders shared similar sentiments.
Human Rights Watch also urged President Karzai to create human rights reporting and monitoring mechanisms that are accessible to all Afghans. The new Afghan government should deploy mechanisms envisioned in the Bonn Agreement, such as the newly established Human Rights Commission and the planned Civil Service Commission, to build a system of accountability for those involved in serious violations of human rights. International assistance and sustained commitment to these efforts are needed.

However, they keenly participated in debates.
Persuasion by the faction leaders and some arm-twisting by the UN, the US and other countries ensured that this unusual exercise in tribal democracy would not break down.

Women and mostly men, living, eating, walking, talking and praying together, gave people from far-away corners of Afghanistan an opportunity to have a first-hand understanding of each other's conditions.
Regardless of their language, religion or ethnicity, they discovered that they shared the same deprivations and live in not too dissimilar economic conditions.
Subjects such as religion, the role of parliament, democracies, social justice and economic development then dominated the jirga debates.

On the face of it, the loya jirga's main achievement was to give legitimacy to Hamid Karzai's transitional government.
But it was more than that - it was a genuine therapy, a healing process for a troubled nation. People were glued to their radios and television sets, listening to outpourings of their sufferings, some inflicted by the Afghans themselves, and some by foreigners.

Hamid Karzai has a big task in the next 18 - 24 months.
He is expected to start the reconstruction of a largely dilapidated country, enforce law and order and produce a constitution - with the help of another loya jirga - to pave the way for a constitutional democracy.

Karzai's presentation style is impeccable. At times he can act like a magician with few words, mesmerising his audience. The question is whether he has the substance to lead his country towards a lasting stability and prosperity without international support.

Transitional president Hamid Karzai has taken pains to reflect Afghanistan's rich ethnic mix in his new cabinet but delegates to the Loya Jirga said talk of discord among different groups was vastly exaggerated.
National unity was a constant theme of speeches from the floor of the nine-day grand assembly and Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras say they formed close bonds during the days of contact with Afghans of different backgrounds.
Much of the blame for the country's past 23 years of conflict was laid on its volatile ethnic divides, but delegates were united in seeing themselves first and foremost as Afghans.

Karzai's choice of cabinet is a compromise between stability and change.
He was expected to make major changes, to remove factional leaders and to appoint a more balanced and professional cabinet.
The leaders of the Northern Alliance, however, were less than accommodating.
There was only one key change - the voluntary departure of their interior minister, Yunus Qanooni.
But the alliance's defence minister, Mohammad Fahim, strengthened his position, becoming vice-president.

President of the Afghan Transitional Government Hamid Karzai on Wednesday ,19 june announced 14 ministerial appointments in his new cabinet and the nomination was immediately approved by the Loya Jirga delegates:
Mohammad Qasim Fahim and Abdullah Abdullah would keep their respective posts as defense minister and foreign minister.
Taj Mohammad Khan Wardak, took up the post of interior minister, and the Finance Ministry would be led by Ashraf Ghani, director of the Afghan Assistance Coordination Authority .
Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, who resigned his post of interior minister at the opening ceremony of the Loya Jirga, was offered the post of education minister.
Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, Haji Muhammad Mohaqqeq, Suhaila Seddiq, Sayed Hussein Anwari and Enayatullah Nazeri would respectively remain in the posts of commerce minister, planning minister, public health minister, agriculture minister and refugees minister.
Mohammad Alem Razm transferred the Mines and Industries Ministry to Engineer Juma Mohammad Mohammadi and took up the post of small industries minister.
Arif Khan Norzai, the former small industries minister, moved to the border minister and Masum Stanekzai was appointed in charge of the Telecommunication Ministry.
Karzai also nominated Fahim, leader of the Hizbi WahdatIslami , Abdul Karim Khalili and Haji Abdul Qadeer, the former urban development minister, as the vice presidents of the transitional government.
Fazl Hadi Shenwari was appointed as the chief justice to the Supreme Court.

President Hamid Karzai named the rest of his Cabinet on Saturday,22 june, filling more than a dozen posts but leaving one conspicuously vacant -- the ministry of women's affairs.
The minister of women's affairs, Seema Samar, had not been reappointed because she is an outspoken advocate of women's rights, she was clearly unacceptable to the religious establishment. There were reports she was even threatened by extremists during loya jirga.
But only one woman was reappointed to the Cabinet. She was Dr. Sohaila Siddiqi, who was retained Wednesday as health minister. Those named to the Cabinet included Yunus Qanooni, the former interior minister, who gave up his post at the outset of the loya jirga. He was named special adviser to the president on security issues and agreed to take the education ministry, a portfolio he had initially refused.
Other Cabinet ministers appointed Saturday included : Taj Mohammed Wardak interior minister and Saeed Makhdoom Rahim Information and Culture Minister.
The Reconstruction Minister is Mohammed Fahim Farhang, and the new Haj and Mosques Minister is Mohammed Amin Naziryar. The Urban Affairs Minister Yusuf Pashtun .
The new public works minister is Abdul Qadir. The social affairs ministry went to Noor Mohammed Karkin and water and power went to Ahmed Shakar Kargar.
The Irrigation and Environment Minister is Ahmed Yusuf Nuristani. The new Martyrs and Disabled Minister is Abdullah Wardak. Sharif Faez is the new Higher Education Minister.
The Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister is Mirwais Saddiq and Mohammed Ali Jawad is Transportation Minister. The Rural Development Minister is Hanif Asmar.