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Editorial: Before of July Presidential polls

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is making his best to make agree all Afghan segments and leaders on a formula of peace and reconciliation before of coming Presidential elections scheduled to be held in July. In his address to a gathering at the US Institute for Peace on Friday, Khalilzad said the United States is hoping Afghanistan can strike a peace agreement including the Taliban before the presidential elections. “It will be better for Afghanistan if we could get a peace agreement before the election,” Khalilzad said, adding that there remained “a lot of work’ to do. But Khalilzad has made it clear “We are after a peace agreement, not a withdrawal agreement. A peace agreement can allow withdrawal.” But at the same time he admitted, “elections make the peace agreement more complicated”. Khalilzad, who held talks with Taliban representatives four times in the last four months, has expressed cautious optimism about the prospect of a deal, and even announced a draft framework, but stressed nothing had been finalized. Little before, first ever intra Afghan dialogues concluded at Moscow, which is being described “constructive” by some participants of the meeting. Khalilzad has expedited peace efforts when couple of months back, the US President Donald Trump pushes to end the Afghan conflict, where about 14,000 US troops are still deployed and which has seen countless thousands of civilian and military deaths, as well as an infusion of more than $1 trillion in US cash into the country. And now Khalilzad made his remarks of going to strike a peace deal amongst the Afghans before of coming July Presidential elections. The US president Donald Trump in his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Trump said the time has come “to at least try for peace.” The opposition Taliban are insisting on a new constitution in Afghanistan and reluctant to become part of the present political process. Whereas some other leading Afghan leaders are in favour of approaching the traditional Loya Jirga of Afghanistan, which they believe to be the proper forum for settling such issues. But President Ghani along with a few others are thinking on different lines. Even Taliban leaders are reluctant to talk with President Ashraf Ghani government. On such grounds, the suitable way out is nothing except approaching the traditional Loya Jirga, which is due since previous year. Taliban could easily be made agree to attend the Loya Jirga whereas they could easily express their views regarding future. Now when the major breakthrough made in Moscow, then there is no any matter to oppose or reject the proposal for convening of Loya Jirga or to go for delay in Presidential elections. Zalmay Khalilzad is going ahead very peace and he deserves help and support from each and every Afghan who wants peace and harmony in war affected motherland.

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