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HPC expects Doha sitting to facilitates Govt—Taliban direct talks

We hope Mullah Baradar use his independence in Qatar talks to reach peace: Daudzai

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The Afghan government has revealed its intention over Qatar session between the Taliban and US representatives to pave ground for direct talks between Kabul Administration and the Taliban group.

Briefing newsmen on Monday, Umer Daudzai President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for regional affairs on consensus around peace, said High Peace Council expects that the fifth round of Doha talks between US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban negotiating team, to help facilitate direct talks between Afghan officials and Taliban members.      

Speaking to mediamen over Consultative Loya Jirga to be held at end of March, Daudzai said three kind of negotiations were essential to reach the goal of peace, first, negotiation between US and Taliban because some issues are need to be resolved between them, second is the withdrawal of US troops, where the U.S. and the Taliban are not single party, and the Afghan government must be part of it, and the third is the direct talks to be held between Afghan officials and Taliban team.

Daudzai welcomed Taliban’s deputy chief of political affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s travel to Doha for the fifth round of talks with US delegation. “I found Mullah Baradar a man with independent mind who can make decision independently. He hoped that Baradar would use maximum of his independent intellectual during talks with US delegation to reach peace.

Moreover, he said that there is a positive change in regards to in view of the world bout peace in Afghanistan, but lamented that but there are some challenges because each country in the region have its own brand for peace process.

Pointing toward convening consultative Loya Jirga, he said efforts under way to run the Jirga in 17th – 20th of March. He called on all Afghan figures including those who have political differences with the government, to be part of the Jirga.

While insisting over preserving of the past 18 years achievements and values, he said the participants will discuss pathways and strategies towards peace process. “Jirga will highlight red lines in peace talks with Taliban as well.”

Around 2,000 Afghans from across the country will attend the Jirga, and could be extended for another two days if needed, Daudzai said, adding, 900 participants will be from Kabul alone.

Daudzai said they have one month to convene Jirga while previous Jirgas were organized with period of six months. “The participants of Jirga, where at least 30 percent of them would be women, would determine red lines in peace talks with Taliban.”

Moreover, Daudzai said the final decision yet to be taken over extension of invitation to the Taliban group to take part in the Consultative Loya Jirga, but based on principles they are Afghans and supposed to be invited.

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