By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The National Unity Government (NUG) fired a senior member of the High Peace Council (HPC), Abdul Hakim Mujahid, for showing his love and sympathy to former comrades, the Taliban.
Mujahid, who served as the Taliban’s envoy to the United Nations and Pakistan, was made part of the HPC by the government to help the Afghan reconciliation process by convincing the militants to renounce violence. He was on the government payroll since establishment of the HPC.
But, he lost his job when he called the Taliban “angels of peace” and lambasted leaders in a press conference arranged by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies on Thursday. The conference was organized to release a report and brief news reporters on the obstacles faced by the peace process.
However, the remarks of Mujahid came as a shock even for the unity government which made different attempts to overhaul the HPC.
“Abdul Hakim Mujahid was fired by the government after his insulting remarks to jihadi and national leaders and calling the Taliban as angels,” said the deputy spokesman for Chief Executive Office, Omaid Maisam.
Spokesman to the Chief Executive Officer, Mujib Rahman Rahimi, confirmed on Twitter the sacking of Mujahid.
He said that based on the government’s decision the HPC member could not continue his job after the controversial and insulting statement.
To control the damages of Mujahid’s remarks, the HPC has distanced itself. In a statement the HPC said that Mujahid shared his personal views in the conference and do not represent official stance of the peace body.
The peace body said that Mujahid would not participate on behalf of the HPC in any session and the peace council would not accept any responsibility regarding such remarks.
The HPC urged all Afghans to avoid remarks leading to mistrust. The body also asked for full investigation in the case and judgment after findings.
Foreign Relations Adviser to the HPC, Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, said that Mr Mujahid was member of the HPC since 2010, when the council was established.
He said that HPC has 70 members, mainly jihadi leaders, religious scholars and influential members from various political parties and groups. The HPC has offices in all provinces of the country.
The High Peace Council was formed in 2010 by the former president Hamid Karzai based on the recommendations of the consultative grand council or the National Consultative Peace Jirga which was summoned by the government to advice the ex-president Karzai. The purpose of the HPC was to bring militants particularly the Taliban to the negotiations table.
The only major achievement of this council has been the peace agreement with the second largest insurgent group, Hezb-e-Islamic Afghanistan, which was signed between the government and the said group in September last year, ending nearly the 15 years armed insurgency of the group.