Afghanistan

Participatory setup shared with govt, politicians: Noor

KABUL (Tolo News): An Afghan politician who has met with the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul this week said that a plan for a participatory setup has been shared with the government and political leaders as part of efforts to move the peace talks with the Taliban forward, but he added that the plan is not final and that it requires more work.

Talking to TOLOnews, the CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami, Ata Mohammad Noor, said the plan is focusing on three options. “There is a plan. This plan encompasses the abstracts and views of politicians, civil society activists, women, the Afghan government and from various parties, even the Taliban,” Noor added. He said the protection of Afghans’ achievements of the last two decades have been considered in the plan, adding that the United States is in a hurry to implement it, but it requires more debate.

“They (US) say that they have less time, or they say that it should be implemented until the specific timeline so that they withdraw their troops. These are among the issues that have been discussed,” Noor said. Some MPs said who have met with Khalilzad said meanwhile said the United States has no concern about the implementation of the plan but the plan requires the incumbent president to step down.

“The Plan requires (President) Ghani to leave power. There are many reasons for this. The parliament wants him to leave, the world wants him to leave, the Taliban and the people want him to leave,” a lawmaker Ziauddin Aryayee Nizhad said. Noor hinted that President Ashraf Ghani wants to “sacrifice” for peace, but on condition that it is a durable and dignified peace. According to two former US officials who attended an online discussion on Afghanistan said the proposed plan for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan does not seem to be based on conditions on the ground in the country.

“For many of us, this is déjà vu all over again,” former US envoy James Cunningham said at an online vent hosted by the Center for a New American Security. “We have an American president faced with arbitrary deadline for full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Our allies and partners want us to stay. The proposed withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground. There isn’t any serious political diplomatic strategy to prepare the ground for the withdrawal.” Lisa Curtis, a senior director for South and Central Asia on the National Security Council, suggested that the US should salvage the Doha agreement.

“It is in US interest to salvage the current US-Taliban agreement and one way to move forward is to bring greater attention and urgency to the part of the agreement that requires a comprehensive ceasefire and political roadmap,” she said. This comes as former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni said a new roadmap for peace is taking shape with the support of the international community with a main focus on consensus within the country and in the region.

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The Frontier Post

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