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‘Helmand peace talks faltered due to govt’s negligence’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Efforts for reconciliation with the Taliban insurgents have been faltered in southern Helmand province as a result of cold shouldered response of the government and High Peace Council (HPC), a former peace negotiator said on Monday.

While addressing the participants of a gathering, former head of the High Peace Committee for Helmand, Fazl Bari Fayaz came hard over the process of selection of new members for the provincial peace committee, saying their efforts at brokering peace talks with the Taliban lasted seven years, would eventually lose confidence in the presence of ongoing negligence by the government.

He added that hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the HPC, aimed at bringing the militants to the negotiating table, but the result is not fruitful.

“But nothing was given to us to use that money in bringing peace to Helmand,” said the former peace committee chief.

Moreover, Mohammad Daud Farhang, the council secretary, told the gathering regional intelligence warfare and drug mafia are involved in Helmand’s insurgency, adding as long as these factors were not countered, militancy and insecurity in the province would continue.

Without pointing out anyone, he alleged: “Some circles see an end to the war as not in their interest, thus peace eluding us.”

He further went on saying that the Helmand peace committee had been succeeded in entering 285 insurgents into peace process during past seven years.

New Head of the Helmand Peace Committee, Ghulam Mohmmad Ishaqzai has emphasized on the government to establish secure residential areas for rebels joining the peace process.

“Many militants want to join peace, but some foreign intelligence agents do not allow them to do so,” he warned that all the characters creating hurdles for peace process would be named very soon.

In addition to that, Helmand Governor Hayatullah Hayat on the occasion, said some actors, seeking their personal interests in the conflict is making efforts to prolong insurgency.

“But we would not let them succeed because our people want peace and we are struggling for that,” said the governor.

He termed conflict as a core reason behind deprivation of children of education and healthcare services in many areas in the country.

He called on rebels to shun insurgency and join the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.

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