Afghan Constitution, Islamic Republic cannot be sacrificed

KABUL (Agencies): First Vice President Amrullah Saleh says that the Afghan government is ready to compromise in talks with the Taliban but “not ready to abrogate the Afghan constitution.

In an interview with BBC, Saleh emphasized that the Afghan government and Constitution cannot be sacrificed in the peace process “We are ready for compromise but we do not want the constitution of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic to be the sacrificial goat for this for a very crude peace process.”

Saleh stressed that the sacrifice should lead to peace. “It (sacrifice) should not be prelude another reason for another perpetual war in my in my country,” Saleh said. This comes as an international summit on the Afghan peace process is due to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in mid-April.

VP Saleh stated that the Afghan government is ready to participate in the summit. “We are going to Turkey with sincerity, with seriousness, and with conviction to bring peace… the ball is now in the court of the Taliban and the side of the Taliban to agree to a political settlement – they have not,” he told BBC correspondent Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani presented his new three-phase peace roadmap to a number of high-ranking Afghan officials this week. Ghani’s roadmap – from an unending war towards a just and lasting peace proposal includes three phases, a political agreement; a peace government; and peacebuilding, state-building, and market-building. In the first phase, Ghani proposed a political settlement, an internationally monitored ceasefire, a regional and international guarantee of peace as well as continued counter-terrorism efforts, and the convening of a Loya Jirga to approve the agreement.

The second phase will be to hold a presidential election and establish a “government of peace” and implement arrangements to move towards a new political system. The third phase will involve building a “constitutional framework, security, reintegration of refugees and considering government priorities” for Afghanistan’s development. “Putting an end to the 42-year conflict is the main goal, not a peace that is the beginning of another war,” Ghani said while presenting his roadmap.