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Peace strategy ineffective, needs thorough review: Ahady

Peace strategy ineffective, needs thorough review: Ahady

Jan 21, 2016 - 15:39

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan’s New National Front (ANNF) on Thursday called the peace process complicated, claiming the government’s strategy for reconciliation had been ineffective.

ANNF head Anwarul Haq Ahady said the government believed Pakistan held the key to peace in Afghanistan, or that Pakistan had failed to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the ex-minister asked the government to review its strategy based on discussions with all stakeholders and different communities.

“We are supportive of face-to-face peace talks with the Taliban, but a framework is needed to include independent individuals who support the government,” he suggested.

The peace process should not be brokered by a third party, America, China or anyone else, he said, alleging differences within the administration and an unclear stance of militants had caused confusion.

“Since the (peace) process has made no progress, people no longer think it will have a positive outcome,” he remarked, lamenting the heavy amounts of money spent on the High Peace Council (HPC) and its activities.

Both sides should have a strong will for peace, the former minister stressed, warning that reconciliation would continue to elude the country in the absence of sincerity of intent on the part of negotiators.

Ever since it was established, the council had been unable to help the peace process because it was led by individuals unacceptable to the militants as neutral mediators, he claimed.

The government is yet to fill the HPC leadership post that fell vacant after Salahuddin Rabbani was made foreign minister a year ago. Then HPC secretary Masoom Stanikzai looked after the council’s affairs for some time before being chosen as acting defence minister.

Ahady insisted the quadrilateral conferences on the resumption peace talks in Islamabad and Kabul were a failure, Pakistan was not honest in the process.

The ANNF, including several political groups, was recently created by Ahady. It has already labelled the national unity government as unsuccessful, demanding fresh presidential elections.