Delegates Optimistic As Peace Jirga Is ‘All Set’ To Be Held

Amid growing criticisms by some of Afghanistan’s mainstream political leaders and President Ashraf Ghani’s political rivals, official from the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace on Sunday said that all preparations are on track for the event to be held as per schedule on Monday, April 29.

Almost 3,000 delegates from across the country will attend the Jirga to decide on the future of the peace process, as President Ghani’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai put it last week.

Some Jirga delegates said that ceasefire, the peace talks and the protection of Afghanistan’s achievements decades will be make the main topics of the Jirga.

“We are here for seeking peace, not for an election campaign,” said Breshna, a delegate from Kunar.

“We are fighting for 17 years, but we do not want to return to the past,” said Hasiba Danishwar, a delegate from Baghlan.

Aziza Kamalzada, a delegate from Ghor, said conflicts have taken the life of his only son and that the Jirga should be a source of promoting peace and ending the war in Afghanistan.

“I come from a district where we lost over 5,000 people in the past 18 years,” said Abdul Qayum, a delegate from Paktia.

Kabul residents, meanwhile, criticized the government for blocking roads in central parts of the city.

On Sunday, an Afghan infant died on the way after the security forces did not allow the ambulance to reach to a nearby hospital.

“Today, I lost my son. I hope that no one will lose his son like me. I have hope only on the Almighty Allah,” said the infant’s father, Ghulam Reza.

The Peace Jirga has been boycotted by many politicians and presidential teams. Among main critics is Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai who in a statement on Saturday called on President Ghani to delay the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace to prevent its “possible negative impacts” on the ongoing peace efforts.

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