In reaction to the rumors about a delay in the consultative Jirga on peace, President Ghani’s powerful rival in the upcoming presidential elections, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, on Sunday asked government to provide clarification about the motive behind the grand assembly.
The peace Jirga was initially scheduled for March 17, according to the High Peace Council.
“They should provide clarification about the Jirga,” Atmar told TOLOnews on Sunday. “What was their objectives behind this Jirga, what they really wanted from it and why they are silent now?” asked Atmar.
An official of the High Peace Council (HPC) said the peace Jirga will be convened next solar year, but he gave no further details about its exact date.
According to the HPC spokesman Ehsan Taheri, President Ghani is yet to issue an order for the assigned committee to convene the Jirga – which is an assembly of tribal elders and delegates from different layers of society.
Almost 2,000 delegates will attend the Jirga as an HPC official said last week.
Taheri said discussions are underway on how to ensure the participation of representatives of Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan.
“The work is moving on as normal like the past. We are waiting for the assigned commission and the assessment committee of the Jirga to announce a new date (for the Jirga),” Taheri said.
President Ghani called for the Jirga last month and said it is aimed at determining the fate and the red lines for the peace talks with the Taliban.
“At the Jirga, people will hold discussions on the nature of the peace talks and the post-peace government in Afghanistan,” said Ghani at the time. But there are still questions against the motive. Fawzia Kofi, an MP, who addressed an event in Kabul on Sunday, warned against exploitation of the Jirga by some political figures.
“The process should be carried out in transparent and trusted way, no political group or political figure should be allowed to exploit it for their own benefits,” said Kofi.
“When they realized that this will not help with their policy or didn’t manage to get the expenditure, then they were compelled to backtrack on their words. Leaders of the national unity government have been under questions by the people of Afghanistan and the international community and they have always violated the law,” she added.
Sources said President Ghani is expected to issue the decree about the Jirga in the near future.