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We want to ‘end animosity’ with Taliban; Abdullah

9th death anniversary of jihadi leader Burhanuddin Rabbani marked

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan Peace Grand Council Chief, Abdullah Abdullah, has said the Afghan government’s peace negotiators are in Doha to end animosity with the Taliban.

At the 9th death anniversary of former president and jihadi leader Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul, attended by majority of political elite on Friday, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said the Afghan government’s negotiating team is in Doha to ‘bury the hatchet’ and end animosity with Taliban. In his address to the ceremony, Dr. Abdullah said that nearly 100 people from both warring sides are killed in the battlefield and continuation of this situation is not acceptable. He said that a continued war is a “miscalculated” decision.

Peace negotiators in Doha need the nation’s support and any division within the country will weaken them, he said, arguing that a disagreement between government negotiators and Taliban representatives was ‘natural’. “Nobody is the winner in war, and nobody is a loser in peace talks,” he said, adding that peace talks is a colossal test for the Afghan nation.

Former President Hamid Karzai also spoke during the ceremony and hoped that Afghanistan government and its negotiating team will be defending the country’s gains of past two decades and bring peace to the country.

First Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, said that voices of peace-loving Afghans are resonating all over the country and no noble Afghan is against peace. Calling on the Taliban, Saleh said, “You will still have to sit for negotiations under one roof, even if you fight for a century. The more the blood you shed, the more your sins will haunt you.”

The late Burhanuddin Rabbani’s son, Salahuddin Rabbani, said that peace is an opportunity to change the country’s centralized government system. Leader of Jamiat Party said that two decades of presidential system “has culminated in a farce”, failing to institutionalize democracy.

“Time has come for a change in the current centralized system of governance,” he said, adding that a transition from presidential system to parliamentary will set motion for horizontal dissemination of power and direct and indirect engagement of people in decision-making apparatus. Rabbani said he is opposed to any peace deal that would jeopardise values and gains of the Afghan nation.

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