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Peace process is more important than Jirga: Rana Think Tank

AT News Report 

KABUL: Experts and political pundits participating in the Rana Think Tank monthly session contended the forthcoming Consultative Loya Jirga for Peace slated for April 29 and asked for large scale support to the ongoing peace process to stop the country toward in unrestrained and uncontrolled indecision.

They expressed deepest concern over decades of ever-ending war, which Afghans are only the victims. They urged government concentrate more over peace process rather than running Consultative Loya Jirga for peace, which is already boycotted by many influential figures. They believe peace is the only way that can end war and stop bloodsheds across the country.

Afghanistan is a land of Jirga, and still the Afghans maintained and favored to solve internal and external disputes, they said, adding Jirgas have always worked in Afghanistan. They strongly backed Jirgas, but opposed the upcoming one as they believe could not solve anything rather making this more complicated.

Pointing toward decades of ongoing war and conflict, the participants said peace is a long-term dream of the Afghans, but it has never interpreted in reality, and still is a distant dream.

They called upon the government to give peace process priority as the long-lasting conflicts have taken many lives of Afghan men, women, elder, children and from all segment of society. 

At the same time, they called for a dignified peace where it should end the war and lead to a lasting peace and stability in the country. Touching upon peace efforts brokered by US Special Envoy Zalamy Khalilzad, they said that at the moment Loya Jirga is of no use, especially after progress made during talks with US and the Taliban.

Advisor to former President, Shahzada Masoud, said no one is opposing Jirga in its principle and also the people believe that Jirga was and is the only remedy to bring the country out of crisis, and it worked in Afghanistan in several occasions.

However, he said the upcoming Consultative Loya Jirga for Peace is likely to create incredulity and doubt among the people and some parties, where the agenda is yet to be known.

He casted doubt over purpose of the Jirga and to what end it will be convened and questioned the process of selection. “Whether real representative of the nation will participate in the Jirga or the pro-government figures will be at the turnout,” he questioned.

According to him Jirga could be useful if it was convened on due time. “Currently much progress made between Taliban and US members and everything is in pending for the Afghan intra-talks.”

The Jirga was effective, when the government had no responsibility of its convening, he said, adding when the participants invited by the government, so clearly the people would look at it as distrustful.

He said government is making all-out efforts to turn the result of Jirga in its benefit.

In regards to Qatar meeting cancellation, he said the government intentionally wanted to delay the talk and let the Consultative Jirga to run. “The list deliberately made fat of 250-member delegation to only be a reason for delay or revocation of the talks.”

The upcoming Jirga is not legitimate, especially after it boycotted by a number of political parties, candidates’ tickets for presidential election and some governmental figures, he said.

He furthered that currently peace opportunity is here that should not be missed even in the face of negligence by government side.

US has made its mind that war is no more a good strategy to resolve Afghan conflict, he said, putting Washington’s focus now toward diplomatic ways, where consensus is already in regional countries and beyond. 

Another political expert Gul Rahim Safi said everyone favoring peace, but still real consensus has not been made as there are some figures who still not honest to peace process.

He called on both, Afghan security forces and the Taliban fighters to come up to the fore with a comprehensive ceasefire to stop river of bloods first. “After trace negotiation should have launched to reach clear outcome for the peace.”

There are some clusters and figures who see continuation of war in their benefit which are not sincere in the peace process, he stated.

Others participants in the Rana Think Thank believe the government has plan to use Consultative Loya Jirga for its electoral campaign to ensure its lasting. They believe the key of peace is at the hand of US and Pakistan. Unless harmonizing of these two countries, bringing peace in Afghanistan is impossible, they said, but recent US efforts toward peace is a positive sign of Washington to end the war.

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