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Afghan politicians prepare ‘national reconciliation plan’

By News Desk
January 27, 2020

KABUL: A group of prominent Afghan politicians has prepared a national reconciliation plan with the help of a research organization for moving forward the peace negotiations.

The politicians said the plan has been shared with political leaders and civil society members. The politicians are awaiting President Ghani’s view on this plan, according to those familiar with the effort. Former deputy minister Jawed Ludin, Jafar Mahdawi, Mohammad Ishaq Gailani, Janan Musazai, Suraya Dalil, Fawzia Kofi, Asif Rahimi and Mohammad Asim are part of a group that has worked on this plan over the past three months. “The plan has been prepared by our friends with the help of the Heart of Asia office which is an independent organization,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, a politician and a member of the team that prepared the plan. “Overall, the plan is about the fact that all the stakeholders should represent Afghans and this group (mentioned in the plan) should attend the intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban,” he added.

The group said they have held multiple meetings with State Minister for Peace Affairs Salam Rahimi and the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and have asked for a meeting with the president. The group has not shared more details about this plan but sources said that establishing a new structure for decision-making on peace is one of the suggestions it offers. “I am very hopeful that Mr. Ashraf Ghani will accept this plan,” Gailani said.

“We will try to complete this Afghan-inclusive peace plan and share it with the Presidential Palace so that we attend the intra-Afghan negotiations with a unified plan,” said Shahzada Massoud, former advisor to ex-president Hamid Karzai. The Presidential Palace meanwhile in a statement said President Ghani met with US Charge de Affairs Ross Wilson and US and NATO forces commander Gen. Scott Miller.

In this meeting, the statement said, Gen. Miller said that the US-Taliban talks are underway in Doha and that the United States chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad will visit Kabul if the talks reach progress. “The Taliban are interested in a ceasefire but after a deal on foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said Abdul Shakoor Motmaen, a former Taliban member. “Intra-Afghan meetings will be held after a ceasefire in order to discuss peace.”