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HPC sets no pre-condition for talks with Afghan Taliban

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The High Peace Council (HPC) Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili at a ceremony in Kabul on Wednesday said the council is ready to start peace talks with the Taliban without any pre-condition.

He said the Taliban can open their office, for the peace talks, in any part of the world and even in Kabul.

Khalili said the Indonesian vice president and a group of that country’s religious scholars will visit Kabul in the near future and are expected to condemn the ongoing war as illegitimate. “Our main duty is to end the war and begin the peace negotiations,” Khalili said. “People should be involved in the peace process.

We had discussions with political parties and they announced their support to the peace process.”

He said the promotion of the peace process by Afghanistan and Pakistan media will change things in the region.

“We had a discussion with Pakistani journalists who visited Kabul (this week) and talked about the peace process and their role in it,” he said.

Last month, Khalili, traveled to Indonesia where he held discussions with high-ranking Indonesian officials, including President Joko Widodo, on the peace process in Afghanistan. Khalili said the Indonesian government is interested in helping the Afghan peace process to end the war in the country.

“Indonesia was never involved in the regional conflicts and the Indonesian religious scholars have announced their support to the Afghan peace process and want to play their role to constitute a regional consensus of religious scholars,” the High Peace Council’s chief said.

“The Indonesians want to put an end to the ongoing war in Afghanistan and bring stability,” he added.

At the same event, Akram Khpulwak, head of the secretariat of the High Peace Council, said they are ready to open talks with the Taliban “through whatever mechanism they suggest”.

“We hope Taliban gives a positive response to the call for peace. No one thinks war is a solution to the problem in Afghanistan,” Khpulwak said.

The High Peace Council (HPC) is optimistic that Indonesia will share its experience for peace with Afghanistan as the country itself has faced major ups and downs in search for peace.

Meanwhile, Residents and civil society activists from Helmand say government has failed to drive Taliban militants from the province.

They called on government to clear the regions occupied by the Taliban.

Figures show that parts of Helmand have been in the hands of Taliban for more than a decade. The Baghran and Disho districts in Helmand have been under the control of Taliban for the past 14 years.



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