Consultative Loya Jirga likely to derail ongoing peace efforts

KABUL (Agencies): Former President Hamid Karzai in a statement rejected the Consultative Loya Jirga held today (Monday) to discuss ways for peace as “not in people’s interest”, however, he calls the Jirgas as a united voice of Afghans raised to resolve big problems. Karzai called lack a consensus, disunity inside the government and opposition by political leaders, tribal elders, religious scholars and civil society, as one of the reasons that the Loya Jirga was not acceptable for him.

He said that the current Jirga failed to provide a trust space and pave the ground for peace as the “Islamic Movement of Taliban” is against it. The former president said that he asked President Ghani for calling a Loya Jirga in 2017 as a step for lasting peace, but that didn’t take place. “Now, after several months of peace negotiations and some progresses, it should be strengthened with the government’s participation”.

He added that negotiations between Taliban and the high peace council in last November in Moscow followed by the intra-Afghan talks in February in the same place as well as Russia, China and US meetings in Russian capital a few days ago are the indicators of peace progresses. Karzai said that national interest and vital need to peace require the peace talks be accelerated to prevent from more killings of Afghans. “Considering these facts, I would call on His Excellency President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to postpone this Jirga in order to prevent its likely negative impacts on the space of peace negotiations,” said Karzai.