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Karzai hopes for eternal peace in Afghanistan

“Last Tuesday, eyes of our children that had just opened to this world were shut. Our painful reality can’t get more painful than this,” Karzai

AT News

KABUL: Former President Hamid Karzai said that peace process in Afghanistan should be governed by Afghans to bring an immediate end to war and start intra-Afghan peace negotiations.

Hamid Karzai spoke after Afghan leaders—President Ashraf Ghani and his estranged ally Abdullah Abdullah—signed on Sunday a political agreement that will set the motion for a power-sharing or coalition government after months of dispute and marathon mediation talk.

Karzai appreciated President Ashraf Ghani and Head of High Reconciliation Council for having ironed out their political differences and reached a consensus. He lamented the continuation of the war which ‘only causes destruction and breeds indignation’.

“Last Tuesday, the eyes of our children that had just opened to this world were shut. Our painful reality can’t get more painful than this,” said Karzai referring to the Black Tuesday when terrorists killed 24 mothers and children in a Kabul hospital in Dashti Barchi.

He added, “We want our country to be safe and secure as soon as possible, and neither the government nor the Taliban fire a single bullet in our homeland”. He hoped for an earnest start of peace negotiations between Kabul government and the Taliban.

We want an end to war through a peace process owned and governed by Afghans, he said, “It is certain that we are moving ahead towards a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan in an environment of consensus and unity,” he said.

The political agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah was signed on Saturday, according to which Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will undertake the leadership of the High Council of National Reconciliation, and his teams will be in the cabinet. Dr. Abdullah will have the position of the second commander in chief after occupying headship of the High Council.

The agreement also stipulates that Abdul Rashid Dostum will be bestowed with the rank of “Marshal” and membership in the High Council and Security Council of the government.  The agreement pictures a government in which each side will have a 50 percent share. According to the agreement (proposed by Abdullah and mainly accepted by Ghani), the High Council of National Reconciliation will be established to issue executive orders and will be led by Abdullah Abdullah.

A key part of the agreement is the participation of Abdullah’s team in the government. This matter has been one of the main topics of the discussions between the two sides. Abdullah will have the authority to appoint 50 percent of the cabinet, including key ministries.

Sources said the ministries of Interior Affairs; Justice, Labor and Social Affairs; Refugees and Repatriation; Transportation; Economy; Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; Higher Education; Borders and Tribal Affairs; Industry and Commerce; and the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology have been offered to Abdullah by President Ghani.

Ghani and Abdullah have been in a bitter feud over presidency for more than half a year after presidential elections that bred dissent and rivalry. If the two leaders can finally clamber out of the ditch and end the longstanding political polarization, a big portion of the puzzle will be solved and the country can move on – without encumbrance – with its peace plans.

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