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Peace possible with tribal elders’ mediation: Sherzai

Peace possible with tribal elders’ mediation: Sherzai

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On
Mar 14, 2018 - 20:41

KABUL (Pajhwok): Tribal elders held a meeting in capital Kabul on Wednesday and voiced their support for the government’s latest peace offer to the Taliban.

The meeting was organized by the Coordination Center of Tribal councils of the Ministry of Tribal and Border Affairs.

New tribal and border affairs minister Mohammad Shafique Gul Agha Sherzai, who attended the meeting, said war could not bring peace to the country, something proven by the history.

He said disputes in Afghanistan had historically been resolved through mediation of tribal elders and the ongoing conflict could also be settled the same way.

Sherzai announced convening a ‘Consultative Jirga’ in coming few months in Kabul and said: “This Jirga in cooperation with the High Peace Council (HPC) would help all the warring sides find the path to peace and help us reach to our goal.”

Sherzai termed the government’s recent peace offer to the Taliban as unprecedented and said the government and the Taliban needed trust building before entering a dialogue.

The former Nangarhar governor said trust could be built between the government and the Taliban with mediation of tribal elders and influential figures.

He asked the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to support the Afghan government in implementation of its peace proposal.

Sherzai once again voiced on the Taliban to spurn violence and accept the government’s peace offer as did by the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA).

Abdul Khaliq Hussaini, head of the coordination center for tribal councils, said that now the Taliban had no excuse to refuse peace talks after the government’s new peace offer. “We want the Taliban to accept this peace offer as soon as possible,” he said.

Fridon Barakzai, head of Wahdati Milli Barak Foundation, talking on behalf of tribal councils, said that the recent Afghan government peace offer to Taliban proved the government had a strong will for peace talks.

He asked all tribal elders to stand united and work for peace in their provinces and districts so the Afghans could be relieved from the conflict.

The Taliban should positively respond to the unprecedented offer and arrive at the negotiating table, Barakzai said, asking politicians to support the peace proposal instead of creating tribal divisions.

Two weeks back, President Ashraf Ghani explained his new roadmap for the peace process and said the government wanted to reach a ceasefire with the Taliban without any preconditions.

He had said that the government would negotiate with the Taliban wherever they wanted.

“If they promise shunning the insurgency, Taliban prisoners may be freed and their names struck off from international blacklists. Former fighters and refugees could be reintegrated and provided with job opportunities.”

However, Taliban have not yet formally responded to the offer.

mds/ma