Hafiz Mansour, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on Tuesday said that the political fragmentation among Afghanistan’s political elites and leaders could put the ongoing peace negotiation talks with the Taliban into jeopardy.
Mansour warned that an attempt to sabotage the peace process by any side of the peace negotiations will not be in the interest of Afghanistan and that such a move would have severe repercussions for the country.
Mansour said that the republic’s team takes its guidance from Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, stating that President Ashraf Ghani only gives suggestions to the peace negotiating team.
“Any side which tries to sabotage it will face massive pressures, I don’t think that such a move will be in the interest of Afghanistan, the Afghan people and the peace process,” said Hafiz Mansour.
“At least the guidelines should be given to the negotiating team as should the agenda of the talks,” said Attaullah Ludin, a member of the republic's peace negotiating team.
“The High Council of National Reconciliation is the highest forum which can make a decision about the peace process, other groups can give their suggestions,” said Mansour.
On Monday, Fawzia Koofi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban, said that an explanation by the republic about the agenda of the talks is essential before entering into the second round of negotiations with the Taliban.
This comes as the republic’s team continues its consultations in Kabul for the 7th day.
The lack of a political consensus in the peace process, and the lack of an explanation from the republic's team about the agenda of the talks for the second round, are the key challenges in the way of the republic’s team.Experts believe that the mentioned challenges can delay the second round of talks.
Meanwhile, Assadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), has said that the second round of the talks should not be delayed for any reason.
“The talks should not be delayed under any circumstances and under any reason or excuse,” said Saadati.
“We must avoid making any sort of disruption in the way of the talks, the negotiations should not delay under any situation,” added Saadati.
The statement comes amid hopes that the leadership council of the High Council of National Reconciliation will convene its leadership committee meeting in the next few days, during which the committee is expected to give its directives to the republic's team about the agenda of the talks in the second round.
“Every day that these negotiations are delayed is an act of oppression against the Afghan people,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, the head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Afghanistan party.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) met with Imam Ali Rahmon, Tajikistan’s president, in Dushanbe on Tuesday and the two sides discussed the Afghan peace process.
According to Abdullah’s office, President Rahmon “announced his support for Afghan peace and said peace in Afghanistan is peace and stability in Tajikistan.”
“The president of this country (Tajikistan) believes that peace in Afghanistan, stability in Afghanistan has links with peace in the region and development in the region,” said Abdullah.
National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who is on a regional trip, has met senior officials in Iran following his visit to Azerbaijan where he discussed regional connectivity and the peace process in Afghanistan.
A source meanwhile told TOLOnews that Mohib’s trip to Azerbaijan was to attract cooperation from that country towards equipping the Afghan security forces.
Experts say that the difference in the stance of Iran and Pakistan about the Afghan negotiations indicates that there is still a lack of regional consensus on the Afghan peace process.