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Peace process facing challenge after HIA sets new conditions

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The High Peace Council faces challenges with the new conditions offered by the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (Afghanistan Islamic Party), an official for the council said.

The government-HIA peace talks began around three months ago, after which both sides reached an agreement and needed more discussion between President Ashraf Ghani and the HIA leadership.

But the peace council says that the HIA has set four new challenging conditions.

“The council is aware of the HIA’s conditions which were not mentioned in the agreement draft made after long term negotiation,” the council’s deputy Ataurrahman Salim said Monday.

He said that the new conditions include the withdrawal of foreign forces and giving membership to the party in the election commission.

The HIA also says it would sign agreement with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, not with National Unity government, arguing the National Unity Government was a temporary administration.

The government and the HIA have been reached an agreement over several issues and the latter has accepted the constitution, according to Salim.

He emphasized that the talks would still go on. “We hope to reach the expected result.”

He alleged that Taliban were divided to several groups and the peace council did not contact with them.

Salim said that thousands of armed insurgents had laid down weapons and joined peace process due to the activities of the peace council.

He said that beside achievements, HPC had its own challenges and failed to gain objective expected by people.

But lawmakers had doubtful view regarding ongoing negotiation and new conditions have been set by HIA and they asked for establishing a commission by parliament to assess the issue. Member of Abdul Qader Zazai said that still HIA has not clearly confirmed setting of new condition, so it is required of parliament to establish a commission to assess problem.

Most of the Afghan people and governmental officials are cheerful for joining of HIA to peace process and they believed that joining of this party will positively affect over security across the country.

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