Afghan Government Ready For Ceasefire: Ghani

President Ashraf Ghani addressed the closing ceremony of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace on Friday where he said the Afghan government is ready to implement all recommendations mentioned in the Peace Jirga’s resolution.

He said the Afghan government is ready to announce a ceasefire if the Taliban show readiness in this regard.

President Ashraf Ghani addressed the closing ceremony of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace on Friday where he said the Afghan government is ready to implement all recommendations mentioned in the Peace Jirga’s resolution.

He said the Afghan government is ready to announce a ceasefire if the Taliban show readiness in this regard.

“I am ready to implement your (the Peace Jirga delegates’) legitimate demand which is ceasefire. I see the courage and power in the National Defense and Security Forces lines to implement the discipline of a ceasefire. If the Taliban is ready for a ceasefire in a way, we can work on technical details of it,” he explained.

Ghani said he apologizes to Kabul residents for the problems created for them during the Peace Jirga, including road closures in the city.

He added that the Peace Jirga resolution will be the action plan and the roadmap for the Afghan government and that all recommendations of the resolution will be implemented.

“We are ready to provide the ground for Taliban to be part of the country’s development. It is a friendly suggestion,” Ghani said.

Meanwhile, Ghani announced the release of 175 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of goodwill towards peace.

He called on the Taliban to send their delegation to Kabul or another province of the country to receive the 175 prisoners.

Ghani said that a post-Afghanistan peace will help economic development in Pakistan. He said the Afghan government wants a relationship with Pakistan which is based on mutual respect and friendship, which is clear and is an equal government-to-government relation.

Ghani said he appreciates US efforts for Afghan peace and added that Afghanistan has strategic relations with the United States.

He thanked all countries including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, and the European Union which are interested in hosting the Afghan peace talks.

He said the Taliban has to make their choice that whether they will attend the talks inside Afghanistan or in any of the mentioned countries.

Ghani also called on the Taliban to get ready for peace talks inside Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, head of the Peace Jirga, said the grand council serves for the interests of Afghans, which is a durable peace in the country.

He called on the Afghan people and the Taliban to remove hatred from their hearts against each other as he addresses the closing ceremony of the Peace Jirga.

He said also called on President Ghani to consult the Afghan people in any decision on peace.

Sayyaf said Peace Jirga delegates expressed their recommendations in a free environment. He said Afghans have a strong will for peace.

According to him, a majority of delegates are in favor of integrated peace efforts.

The Jirga delegates’ resolution includes the following demands:

1.    Afghans remain committed to bringing a durable peace in the country.

2.    Taliban should listen to the Afghan people, end violence and bloodshed and take part in the country’s development.

3.    There should be a unified view of Islam by the Taliban and the country’s religious scholars.

4.    The Afghan government and the Taliban should agree on an immediate ceasefire starting from the first day of Ramadhan.

5.    The Islamic Republic system should be preserved.

6.    Afghanistan’s Constitution should be preserved and if needed, amendments should be brought to it through required legitimate mechanisms.

7.    The basic rights of all Afghans, including women’s rights and their rights for education, should be preserved in the peace process.

8.    A strong Afghan National Defense and Security Forces is a need for ensuring durable peace in the country.

9.    The Peace Jirga delegates call on the involved parties and countries in the peace process to provide the ground for the opening of the Taliban’s political office in Afghanistan.

10.    The Peace Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to preserve the achievements of the past two decades and in collaboration with the international community prepare a timeline for “responsible” withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

11.    Members of the Peace Jirga call on all political parties and movements as well as influential figures in the country to enter the peace talks through a unified position.

12.    All involved parties should prevent from recommending preconditions for starting direct peace talks.

13.    All involved parties should implement flexibility towards prisoners and act on releasing prisoners as a goodwill gesture and for creating trust environment.

14.    The delegates call on the international community and countries in the region to coordinate their peace efforts with the Afghan government and place the government of Afghanistan in the center of these efforts.

15.    The Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to maintain good relations with regional and neighboring countries in all its peace efforts and if it sees any interference by these countries, it should lodge its complaint to the United Nations Security Council.

16.    The Afghan government should expedite its consultations with influential figures in the country on peace efforts and on starting direct talks with the Taliban.

17.    Reforms should be brought to the structure, formation, and activities of the High Peace Council.

18.    The negotiating team should include at least 50 members from former Jihadi leaders, religious scholars, women, youths, Kochis and representatives of different classes of the society.

19.    Taliban’s legitimate demands should be recognized by the Afghan government and it should take required steps for trust building.

20.     The Peace Jirga delegates remain committed to their efforts for peace as the messengers of peace and they will pass on the message of the Jirga to the relevant areas.

21.    The Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to ensure good relations with the delegates and keep them updated about consultations and developments in the peace talks.

22.    The Afghan government, the Taliban, the international community, regional countries, and other involved parties should respect the demands of the Jirga delegates and take practical steps to reduce violence.

23.     All suggestions and recommendations of the 50 committees of the Jirga should be published as an official document.

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