Peace Jirga’s Delay Not Possible: Daudzai

President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai on Sunday reacted to former President Hamid Karzai’s remarks on the Grand Consultative Jirga for Peace and said delaying the event is not possible as all delegates have arrived in Kabul from across the country to attend the “first ever” big gathering. 

Daudzai said the Jirga will provide the ground for peace and that it will not create any hurdle for the process.

The call for a delay in the Jirga came from former President Karzai on Saturday, April 27, two days ahead of the event, but Daudzai said it is too late delay the consultative Jirga.

“It is not possible now, because 3,000 delegates have arrived in Kabul and the government’s treasury has been spent. It is not possible to delay the Jirga,” Daudzai reiterated.

So far, at least nine presidential candidates, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah,  and their teams have boycotted the Peace Jirga, and some of them have said that it is a “waste of time” and an “election campaign”.

Daudzai said that every Jirga has its own opposition but added that they will leave no stone unturned to encourage the critics to attend the Jirga.

“Mr. Abdullah has not made his statement on the Jirga as the chief executive of Afghanistan but he has boycotted the Jirga as a presidential candidate. His (Abdullah’s) concerns should be removed. This is not only our (the High Peace Council’s) responsibility but it is the ARG’s (Presidential Palace) responsibility as well to work in this respect,” he added.

Daudzai said that he has no idea why the former president made the recent remarks on the Jirga while “one month ago, he welcomed the convention of a Loya Jirga”.

He assured that the Jirga will not create any hurdle for the peace process but it will provide the ground for the process.

“I want to assure you that this Jirga will lay the foundation for peace and it will expedite the peace process and will not create hurdles but it will remove the hurdles from the peace process,” he said. “We all should approve the Jirga if we want peace.”

He said efforts are underway to convince Mr. Karzai to attend the Jirga.

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