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Peace council, at government service: Lawmakers

AT-KABUL: Some members of the parliament accused the High Peace Council of being at the government’s service, saying the council has turned to a place for government campaigns. They also said Monday that they doubted the council’s independence, adding it should be shut.

The leadership of the peace council was planned to appear in the parliament on Monday and answer the MPs’ questions over their activities, but the meeting was postponed as some of the council’s senior members had traveled to Paktia province along with President Ashraf Ghani.

“The high peace council is campaigning for the government for the next presidential election, instead of working for peace. It is also working to divide the people through cyber space,” lawmaker Mohammad Naeem Hamidzai Lali said.

“Some of the members of the high peace council have problems with their family members, so how can they convince Taliban to join the peace program? The appointment of the peace council’s members is based on relationship and their high expenses are not clear. The council is against the law and there is no transparency in their activities,” another legislator, Fawzai Koofi said.

They suggested the closure of the high peace council, arguing that the council could not bring peace.

The parliament had earlier said that the peace council was a symbolic institution, while the big decisions regarding the peace were taken by the government officials.

Head of the council, Mohammad Karim Khalili, has confirmed the council had faced problems in the past, saying the new approach was adopted based of which the council would seriously follow its goals.

Also, Ehsanollah Taheri, the council’s spokesman asked the parliamentarians to share their evidences over the council’s work for the government and its budget. “They (members of parliament) should sit with us and we will be ready to answer their questions,” Taheri said.

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