Daudzai Calls On Taliban To Listen To Jirga Delegates
President Ghani’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai called on the Taliban to listen to recommendations of the delegates of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace which was started on April 29 and will continue through to Thursday.
Almost 3,200 delegates from around the country have attended the Jirga who will determine the framework of peace talks with the Taliban.
“Taliban should listen to the recommendations of the Peace Jirga delegates,” Daudzai said.
Government had invited the Taliban to attend the Jirga or send a delegate but the group has rejected the invitation, according to officials.
Daudzai said the Jirga’s committees have started their work and that 13 committees are chaired by women.
The administrative board of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace was completed on Tuesday after all its members – five deputies and five secretaries – were elected by the delegates at the end of the second day of the gathering.
Four women are included in the 10-member administrative board which is headed by former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf.
The deputy head of the High Peace Council Habiba Sarabi, Najia Munira Akhundzada, Arif Noori, Mohammad Afzal Hadid and Kamal Safi were elected as deputies of the peace Jirga.
Meanwhile, Rafiullah Haidari, Atifa Tayib, Erfanullah Erfan, Gulalai Akbari and Musa Rahimi were elected as secretaries of the Peace Jirga.
Daudzai said the election of the administrative board was conducted through a transparent process.
Daudzai says he “apologizes” for problems created to reports on the first and second days of the Jirga but added that “reporters will be given more access”.
Daudzai said the Jirga is not running out of time.
“The Jirga might be extended for one day at least if the committees delay their reporting to the administrative board,” Daudzai added.
Daudzai said the delegates have the right to raise their demands within the committees, not during speeches.
At least 12 presidential candidates, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, have boycotted the Peace Jirga.
Daudzai said efforts are underway to convince the politicians to attend the closing day of the Jirga.
He added that some politicians who boycotted the Jirga have changed their decisions and have attended the event. “One of them is Zabihullah Mujaddedi and we hope that other politicians will also take part in the Jirga,” he said.
Reports indicate that the sixth round of the US and Taliban talks will kick off in Qatar on Wednesday. Taliban spokesman confirmed it in a tweet.
Daudzai, meanwhile, said “they welcome the start of the sixth round of the talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha on Wednesday”. “We are optimistic about the talks but at the moment our focus is on the Jirga,” Daudzai added.