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Editorial: NUG now lacking trust in institutions

President Ashraf Ghani’s government has announced formation of a new peace team comprising eleven members led by Chief of Staff Salam Rahimi for seeking and initiating peace talks with Taliban and other resistance and opposition groups and individuals as well. Some of the team members already enrolled and having active participation in the High Peace Commission established by former President Hamid Karzai. The National Unity Government has been taking about a new team without saying anything about the fate of already existing peace body. However, the new board is reportedly planned to replace the existing High Peace Council that was formed by the former in 2010 to encourage Taliban militants to join peace process. Whatever might be expectations of President Ghani from the new team and his reservations regarding the previous or old one but no one can neglect achievements of High Peace Council since its inception. The peace body was time and again headed by highly respectable leaders like late Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Pir Syed Ahmad Gillani and ex-President Prof. Sibghatullah Mujaddadi as well—and now leads by Karim Khalili vice-president to ex-government. Former President Hamid Karzai gave a free hand to the peace body for heals and deals with former leaders and commanders of Taliban movement. But certain political analysts claim that the government is misleading the route of the peace process by shaping a board under the title of ‘Peace Consultation Board’. They say that the members of the board were appointed by the president’s office and can is not only competent to hold talks with Taliban, but also there are people in the board who have not been involved in the peace process and have less information about Taliban. No one can deny the facts that amidst completion of parliamentary elections and preparation for 2019 Presidential elections, political polarization is intensifying day by day in all over Afghanistan. Likewise increasing violent acts across the country is also putting at stake popularity of the government. On such grounds, President Ashraf Ghani and his team is ahead with worst kind of confusions. President Ghani has announced establishment of new negotiation team at the time when US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad has expedited his peace efforts with visible outcomes. It seems that President has hitting the two birds with one stone. On one hand he is making attempt of derailing the peace efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad and on the other he intends to drum up support of influential by blessing them with berths in the peace body. Such steps on the parts of President Ashraf Ghani confirmed the common belief that the present government is not working for peace as it could make disgruntled all those opposition people who are engaged in talks and contacts with some of the previous peace body members. It also confirms differences in modus operandi adopted by the US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad’s hectic peace initiatives also seem different from the agenda and policies of President Ghani. Such a move on the part of President Ashraf Ghani at this crucial stage is nothing else an adventure which might be harmful for the very future of Afghanistan and the people who couldn’t afford more and more adventures but deserve an early of peace. Afghanistan already suffered a lot due to external atrocities and internal polarization. President Ashraf Ghani needs to take steps for making united the country at this crucial stage and go for decisions with taking the leaders, public opinion makers and tribal chieftains into confidence.

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