PEACE POSSIBLE THROUGH POLITICAL SETTLEMENT: GHANI
President Ashraf Ghani at an event on the International Day of Peace on Monday said peace is possible only through a political settlement, insisting that the government is making efforts to end the forty years of war in the country.
President Ghani said the Afghan government, by agreeing to a ceasefire two years ago, showed that it is possible to make a truce, and he called on the Taliban to end violence and agree on a ceasefire.
“What will you do a day after success? At least we should absorb 60,000 to 120,000 Talib fighters. We have a plan for it. We are ready for it. We should embrace four to six million refugees,” Ghani said.
Ghani said negotiators representing the Afghan republic should be supported and that there shouldn’t be interference in their work.
“No one should interfere in the negotiations. Our delegation should be fully supported so that they represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with power. This is not a drama series… This is the story of the Afghan people,” he added.
Other speakers at the event also stressed the need for unity among Afghans and for support for the negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Doha talks.
Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, stressed the need for using the current opportunity for ending the war in the country and warned about the consequences of a failure in the process.
“We should keep unity among ourselves for peace. If we lose this process, we will lose the chance for a real peace even if it is possible,” Abdullah said.
In a Twitter post after the event, Abdullah said on the peace day: “While the people of Afghanistan are yearning for an end to war and demanding a dignified and inclusive peace, I call on all compatriots to take bold steps, as required per our holy religion of Islam, to safeguard civilians, lay down arms and seek a just settlement.
Negotiators held a meeting in contact groups level on Sunday morning to discuss the two remaining disputed issues: the religious basis for the talks and the connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations.
The two sides have agreed on the use of “problem” for the current war, which is called “Jihad” by the Taliban, according to sources familiar with the process.
The two sides are discussing 20-article rules and regulations for the peace negotiations. The two contact groups are expected to hold more meetings this week to finalize the procedure and then work on the agenda for the talks