AT News Report
KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani called political leaders to discuss the list of a delegate scheduled to attend the intra-Afghan dialogue, one day after the US special envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad met him to show the draft of an accord with Taliban and then outlined the details of the accord in an interview.
Sources in the presidential office said Tuesday that Khalilzad who is in Kabul, was also invited to the leaders’ meeting.
President Ghani is reported to have planned to include more people in the list, but his political opposition objected the decision.
The intra-Afghan dialogue which is in fact the first face to face meeting between government delegation and Taliban negotiators is expected to begin soon after the militants sign the finalized deal with the United States.
Sources said that a number of political leaders refused to attend the meeting to protest Ghani’s list of delegation.
The government-funded High Peace Council says only those people should attend the intra-Afghan talks who really support peace.
President Ghani is accused by political opposition of trying to sabotage the peace efforts to hold the presidential elections and stay in power for another five years. Opposition politicians offer an interim administration to replace Ghani’s government and run the country and pave the ground for elections after peace is achieved.
The government announced a 15-member list for negotiation with Taliban last month, but later it brought some changes in the list.
Taliban have so far rejected requests to sit with Ghani’s representatives as they call the government a “Western Puppet”.
The peace efforts come at a time when Taliban have unprecedentedly intensified attacks on Kabul and some provinces. The insurgents stormed Kunduz city, the provincial capital of the same name on Saturday. The next day, they attacked Pol-e-Khomri city, capital of the adjacent province of Baghlan in the north.