Political parties react to delegate list

KABUL (TOLO News): Political parties on Thursday reacted to the list made public on Wednesday night of 20 delegates chosen to attend the intra-Afghan negotiations, apparently finalized by President Ghani. Spokespeople of the political parties say that the delegation is not inclusive and will be unable to conduct talks with the Taliban.

Representatives of these parties say that their groups have not been consulted about the creation of the delegation, and that they will hold their own conference in the coming days.

Based on the list seen by TOLOnews and shared on social media, the twenty-member delegation will be headed by former national security chief Masoum Stankzai.

But political parties and movements have criticized the structure of the delegation.

“Members of the delegation either lived abroad or they were not born during the revolution, they do not understand the ups and downs of the revolution, I am confident that they (peace team) do not have the spirit to defend the rights of the nation once they sit with the Taliban in the talks,” said Mohammad Ismail, a member of the leadership council of Jamiat-e-Islami party.

“The delegation does not at all represent the country’s politicians, parties and institutions,” said Qazi Hafizurrahman Naqi, a member if Hezb-e-Islami.

“The list released is not a final list, but we are working to create a comprehensive delegation that will be released with further consultation from the Afghan government’s address to negotiations with the Taliban,” Abdullah’s deputy spokesman Omid Maisam said.

“What the members of Abdullah’s team and other elders agree on, the Junbish Milli party will also agree on,” said Abdullah Qarloq, a member of Junbish Milli party.

“Next week, there will be a meeting between Afghan politicians about whether this list is acceptable to the people or whether changes need to be made,” said Ahmadullah Alizai, a close ally to Hamid Karzai.

“Those people should be included in the list who opposed the Taliban either by the gun, or pen and discussions,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, the chairman of National Salvation Party, referring to the mainstream Afghan mujahideen factions who fought the Taliban for years.

Sources close to the Taliban say the group will accept a delegation endorsed by the Afghan parties and political movements.

“Dr. Abdullah, Hekmatyar and other politicians have to react to this list and if they agree, it will be acceptable to the Taliban as well,” said Mawlana Jalaluddin Shinwari, the former attorney general during the Taliban regime.

“If the Taliban provide guarantees that their prisoners will not go back to the battlefield, 100 of their prisoners will be released on March 31,” said Jawed Faisal, spokesman for the Office of National Security Advisor.”

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