HCNR hopes Summit will result in ceasefire

KABUL (Tolo News): The High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) said that the agenda of upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan in Turkey will be outlined in a manner in which preference will be focused on the end of war, ceasefire, and the settlement of the conflict based on a joint agreement.

The deputy head of the HCNR, Haji Din Mohammad, told TOLOnews that all preparations have been taken and soon details of the structure of the delegation for the conference will be shared. This comes days after President Ashraf Ghani also announced a three phases peace plan which included of (1) making peace or holding talks with the Taliban, (2) building peace – with language that hints at a transitional government, and (3) sustaining peace, which indirectly refers to a post-transitional government situation.

Ghani in the peace roadmap plan also called for the protection of Afghanistan’s Constitution, saying the Taliban should not provide a safe haven for terrorist groups in Afghanistan, should accept Afghanistan’s military and non-military institutions and respect women’s rights. “It is also a principle in the Constitution that power should transfer through election,” said Zabihullah Mojadadei, the head of Jabha-e-Milli Nejat-e-Afghanistan.

“The expectation is to end the war, there should be a ceasefire and we should come together and resolve the issues through an agreement,” said Haji Din Mohammad, the deputy head of HCNR. According to the peace council, there will be 12 to 15 people on the peace delegation that will go to Turkey, however, the council said that no final decision has been made about it so far.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a meeting with Pakistani officials discussed the ongoing development in the region including the Afghan peace process. “Russia and Pakistan are very much concerned because the situation in the field of security in Afghanistan–it is deteriorating, terrorists are increasingly active in the north, in the east of the country, terrorists are gaining more and more ground, we have agreed to facilitate the creation of an environment where the warring parties could reach some points of convergence that would help to end the civil war in Afghanistan,” said Lavrov in a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Qureshi meanwhile described peace in Afghanistan as in the interests of Pakistan. Nevertheless, sources close to the Taliban have said that the Taliban leaders have so far not reached a final conclusion about the agenda of the upcoming talks in Turkey and the US-proposed peace plan.