Sayyaf Optimistic On Peace Jirga’s Outcome

Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, head of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace, on Thursday said that the 3,200 delegates from across the country have not gathered at the event to support anyone. 

“The Jirga process will be streamed live today,” Sayyaf says.

“It is you who will show the government the way towards peace and the government will do what you demand,” Sayyaf says. “No one will impose anything on you.”

“We have not gathered here for support of anyone, not for campaign of anyone,” Sayyaf says. “You will see that why the people have gathered here when the statement releases tomorrow (Friday) and the result will show you that this Jirga was not for anyone’s support.”

He told the members of the Jirga that “when the Jirga statement released, if you see that something is not Jirga’s views, you can directly raise you voice over the issue.”

On Wednesday, 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.

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.

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