President Ashraf Ghani has reacted to reports on a plan to establish an interim government in the country as part of a peace plan, and said the plan has been outlined outside the country and that it is not applicable in Afghanistan.
Addressing a group of youths and activists from the southern provinces at a gathering in the Presidential Palace on Friday evening, Ghani said “Afghans are selecting the president of Afghanistan,” and that “Islamabad, Tehran and Moscow do not hold the right to elect [Afghanistan’s president]”.
“Those who are afraid of the people are talking about an interim government. This is a foreign scheme and has been outlined outside the country and it is failed in this homeland,” he added.
This comes after Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish at a gathering on Friday raised similar issue and said countries in the region should not impose another proxy war in Afghanistan under the name of the Afghan peace and that they should play a constructive role in the process.
Danish said the Afghan government welcomes regional and world countries’ support to the Afghan peace, but he insisted that the final decision should
President Ghani, meanwhile, called on the Helmand peace activists to travel to Quetta City of Pakistan for talks with the Taliban.
“The Helmand peace convoy came [to Kabul] and I met them on a street based on their demand and I listened to their demands. Now, go to Quetta and tell the Taliban that we met with the president and we can meet him anytime and [ask them that] why you are not meeting us and why aren’t you hearing our demands,” Ghani said.
The Helmand peace activists initially launched their protest in Lashkargah City after a suicide bombing outside a stadium last year in March. About a month later, a group of eight protestors left Helmand on foot for Kabul.
The activists walked through towns and villages, crossed provinces and met with local residents along the way. For 38 days, they walked and as they progressed, so their numbers grew.
About 700kms later, the group of eight had grown to an estimated 100. They arrived in Kabul on June 18, 2018 and handed over demands for a ceasefire and peace to both the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The group gave the Taliban three days in which to answer and said if they failed to do so, they would embark on sit in protests outside diplomatic offices and missions in the capital. However, they received no response from the Taliban.