Taliban Has No Option But To Talk To Afghan Government For Long-Lasting Peace: Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with members of the delegation who will hold a meeting with the Taliban in Qatar on April 20. He said the Afghan delegation which is preparing to hold discussion with the Taliban in Doha are working towards an extraordinary mission which can get peace to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

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“Representation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan is important because no one can represent the nation outside the framework of the state. The absolute right is that we all represent entire government and nation,” said Ghani.

“You are preparing for a mission for which the nation has waited almost for 40 years and that is a dignified peace” said Ghani addressing members of the delegation at Presidential Palace (ARG) on Wednesday with some of Afghanistan’s influential politicians including former President Hamid Karzai, chairman the High Peace Council (HPC) Mohammad Karim Khalili, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, key Jihadi leaders and head of Afghanistan’s legislative and executive bodies on attendees.

The president stated that to achieve dignified and sustainable peace in the country, there is a need for unity, solidarity, and consensus among the people of Afghanistan.

“It is not about you and us. We all have to be united. Our historic achievements and our current achievement and our common achievement is a goal which we want to determine it for our next generations,” said Ghani urging unity among Afghans on national issues including peace.

He said no Afghan from any layer of the society has not been left unharmed from the 40 years of the war imposed on the Afghans. “Everyday we witness bloodsheds, suicide, explosions, and bombardments which have harmed our people mentally and psychologically,” he said.

“The key to removing the disappointment is in our hand, so let’s get together and accept each other,” he said amid waves of criticisms over the structure of the Qatar delegation.

He said the current opportunity for peace is a historic opportunity.

“As a sovereign nation, we will take the decisions based on the will of God and the nation,” he said. “The present opportunity indicates that proper platform is created in the national, regional and international levels.”

Ghani said the ultimate decision about peace is owned by the Afghan people.

“It’s only the people who accept or reject the conditions for peace. The champion Afghan nation is the final decision maker of peace,” Ghani said. “You may have personal contact with the Taliban because our society is a communications community, but for you, representatives of today, for the first time, there is an opportunity to engage in discussions with the opponent side. In Qatar, you will represent the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the faithful Afghan nation. You represent the rights of every child, every woman, every disabled, every family of the martyrs and every citizen of Afghanistan. The rights which are reflected in our nation document or the Constitution which is our guideline.”

Ghani said the Taliban should realize the fact that the group has no way except to engage in talks with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This comes two days after the Afghan government announced that it had prepared an initial list of the Qatar delegation which consists of 250 members. The list, however, has bee criticized by some parties for not being inclusive.