Sayaf urged to chair Loya Jirga

President Ashraf Ghani has asked former Jihadi leader Abdu Rabur Rasool Sayaf to chair the upcoming consultative Loya Jirga on peace due to begin on Monday.

Participants from 32 provinces have arrived in Kabul to attend the four-day assembly under a large tent near Polytechnic University. Around 3,000 people are expected to attend the event where they will discuss ways to end the 17-year war.

Syed Ali Kazemi, deputy chairman of the commission to organize the assembly, said that all preparations were taken for holding the event.

Ziaulhaq Amarkhill, an aide to the president, however, said that the purpose of holding the Jirga is solely for peace.

Meanwhile, participants of the assembly hope that consultations at the event would lead to peace and stability in the country.

Efforts have for peace have accelerated in recent months with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad holding at least five rounds of talks with the Taliban.

The sides have reported progress on foreign troop withdrawal and Taliban assurances to prevent Afghanistan from being used by terrorists. However, talks between the group and the Afghan governemnt have yet to begin.

Tight security preparations have been taken for the upcoming Jirga. The government has announced holidays in Kabul for the event.

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