Ismail skeptical on peace Jirga’s outcomes

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Former Jihadi leader and a senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami party Mohammad Ismail Khan at a gathering in Herat province on Tuesday said the Consultative Jirga on Peace has been organized by a government which will soon “lose its legitimacy”, therefore, the event will not have the expected outcome.

At least 3,200 delegates from around the country have attended the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace which kicked off on Monday, April 29. President Ashraf Ghani said on the inauguration of the Jirga that it will determine the framework of talks with the Taliban.

Reports indicate that the working committees of the Jirga are yet to be formed and there are differences over the election of the administrative board. Former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf is heading the Jirga. “Be sure that we will not achieve peace if the Jirga delegates insist on the continuation of the incumbent government which is not legitimate,” Khan said.

The Jirga has been boycotted by key political leaders including nine presidential candidates, who have called it an “election campaign” by President Ghani. However, a senior official of the Jirga, Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail told TOLOnews that the event is not aimed at election campaign and that it is aimed at discussing peace by the people.

Khan, who has served as minister of energy and water under former President Karzai, warned that Afghans will not achieve peace if “justice is not served to the issue” during the Jirga.

“We call on the Peace Jirga delegates to think justly about issues around peace despite the fact that the president (Ashraf Ghani) has announced the continuation of his government,” he added.

Religious scholars at the gathering called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to reach a common view and end the bloodshed in the country. “We call on the country’s political leaders to extend the hand of friendship to each other, come together and bring peace in Afghanistan,” said Mawlawi Khodadad Saleh, head of Religious Scholars Council in the west zone.(TOLOnews)