President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Friday said breakthroughs in the Afghan peace process will take time without a regional consensus and addressing Taliban’s independencies with their supporters.
Ghani said that despite the uncertainty, the SCO member states have reasons for optimism, for adherence to the Shanghai spirit has not only resulted in overcoming of inherited problems but has also created the platform for the historic transformation of Euro-Asia into a continental economy.
“We consider the US commitment to a political solution to be credible and are coordinating to build the necessary international consensus on peace. But without a regional consensus on peace and addressing Taliban’s interdependencies with their supporters, breakthroughs will take time,” Ghani said.
Ghani said the Afghan government’s mandate for seeking peace with the Taliban comes from the 23-point resolution of the recent Consultative Loya Jirga, whose 3,200 elected members represented the men and women of Afghanistan.
He said that “although the Afghan war is multi-dimensional, reaching a peace agreement with the Taliban is a key component for the reduction of violence”.
Ghani made four suggestions on Afghan peace.
• A regional and international coalition for peace should be formed;
• A regional task force should be formed to develop bankable programs and projects for regional connectivity and poverty reduction;
• The issue of narcotics as a driver of conflict and criminality should be comprehensively addressed within the peace-making and peace-building framework;
• And finally, agreeing to a regional framework for fighting terrorism.
Ghani said the Afghan government will hold the presidential elections on September 28, focus on peace, implement a program of self-reliance, invest in regional connectivity and renew its international and regional partnerships to pursue the vision of building the institutions of the Republic.
“As a free, fair, inclusive and transparent election is the test of a constitutional order, we invite international observers to monitor the process,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a prosperous and secure Afghanistan will benefit the SCO member countries.
“Peaceful, united, safe and prosperous Afghanistan is an important factor for stability and security in the Excellencies, SCO area,” Modi said. “Our aim is to support the efforts of the government and Afghanistan for Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace process.”
Modis said that the roadmap of the further action of the SCO Afghanistan contact group is ready.