Afghan Govt Asked Not To Delay In Forming Negotiating Team

As the peace efforts are gaining momentum despite an increase in violence across the country, a senior member of the Reconciliation Leadership Council called on government to give priority to the formation of the negotiating team as according to him, a limited time has remained for possible talks with the Taliban.

The Reconciliation Leadership Council which was formed by President Ghani earlier in April is comprised of prominent politicians and former Jihadi leaders who have been given the authority to decide on the formation of the negotiating team which will represent the Afghan society in talks with the Taliban.

“The negotiating team should represent all politicians, the Afghan people and the Afghan government. The limited time which has remained for the (intra-Afghan) talks, should be used properly,” said Haji Din Mohammad, member of the council.

A source from the Presidential Palace said government has started consultations on forming the negotiating team.

A grand council of more than 3,000 delegates last week demanded in a resolution the formation of a 50-member negotiating team, but critics suggest a team with fewer members.

A former member of the Taliban, Sayed Akbar Agha, said he does not see any will for peace among the political elites of Afghanistan.

“There is no will for peace; the focus is mostly on elections while peace is more important,” he said.

“We hope that the Afghan government accelerates its efforts for peace talks to gain a positive result from this opportunity,” said Ahmadullah Alizai, former governor of Kabul.

Taliban has repeatedly rejected the calls for intra-Afghan talks, which will also include the Afghan government, but the NATO’s Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Nicholas Kay said at a ceremony in Balkh province that the intra-Afghan dialogue should start “as soon as possible”.

“There is a third element which is very important which must begin as soon as possible, which is the discussion between Afghans, intra-Afghan dialogue. And that discussion will be about the future of Afghanistan, what kind of government, what kind of system Afghans want for their country,” Kay said.

Kay said the whole region, all the neighboring countries and the international community should be united in the search for peace.

“I do believe that now there is more consensus and more agreement within all the neighboring countries and the region that now it is in everybody’s interests to see an Afghanistan at peace, and stable and economically connected to the region,” Kay added.

Balkh residents said they are tired of war and want peace.

“We need peace, when there is peace, then there will be development,” said Sediqa, a Balkh resident.

“We have not felt safe and in peace even for a single day. We are tired of war,” said Nadia, a Balkh resident.

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