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‘Helmand peace talks faltered due to govt’s negligence’

‘Helmand peace talks faltered due to govt’s negligence’

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On
Sep 04, 2017 - 17:03

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok):  Efforts at reconciling militants could not bear fruitful results in southern Helmand province due to the lack of interest on the part of government and the peace body, a former peace negotiator said on Monday.

Former head of the High Peace Committee for Helmand, Fazl Bari Fayaz, told a gathering overseeing the election of new members of the peace committee here, that their efforts at brokering peace talks with the Taliban lasted seven years and finally faltered due to the government’s negligence.

He said the High Peace Council (HPC) had received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help bring the rebels to the negotiating table.

“But nothing was given to us to use that money in bringing peace to Helmand,” said the former peace committee chief.

Mohammad Daud Farhang, the council secretary, told the gathering that peace could not come to Helmand because of the regional intelligence warfare and drugs smuggling.

Without naming anyone, he alleged: “Some circles see an end to the war as not in their interest, thus peace eluding us.”

He said the Helmand peace committee had been able to reconcile 285 militants with the government during the past seven years.

New head of the Helmand peace committee, Ghulam Mohmmad Ishaqzai asked the government to establish secure residential areas for militants joining the peace process.

“Many militants want to join peace but some foreign intelligence agents do not allow them to do so,” he claimed, warning to name those creating problems for the peace process.

Helmand Governor Hayatullah Hayat on the occasion said some figures pursuing their personal interests in the conflict were trying to prolong it.

“But we would not let them succeed because our people want peace and we are struggling for that,” said the governor, who blamed the conflict for deprivation of children of education and many areas of healthcare services in the country. He called on militants to shun insurgency and join the peace process.

mds/ma