President Ashraf Ghani has been meeting with prominent Afghan political leaders over the past week in an attempt to gather support and build a national consensus on the Afghan peace process, the Presidential Palace said.
Meanwhile, a member of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNRC) has said that Ghani’s separate meetings with the political elders are aimed at weakening the peace council.
Ghani has so far met former president Hamid Karzai, former jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, former Vice President Mohammad Younus Qanooni, Mohammad Karim Khalili, the head of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Sarwar Danish, the Second Vice President and his (Ghani's) top adviser on political and security affairs, Mohammad Mohaqiq.
“The President has managed to form a consensus regarding the Afghan peace process—these consultations will continue—we want to institutionalize a political consensus,” said Dawa Khan Menapal, a deputy spokesman to president Ghani.
“The president is looking to weaken the High Council of National Reconciliation—he (Ghani) wants to portray to the world that the peace council can't do anything if he is not there—he wants to say that 'it is I who can bring the political leaders together,'" said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, a member of the peace council.
“The fundamental duty of the president is to embrace the people—now that this process has started it is not a bad thing—it is hoped that this process will continue and expand to engage the politicians and the people together,” said MP Mirwais Yasini.
“Both sides are without a plan. Today they pledge something and tomorrow act against it. I wish both sides would come together within the framework of a principled program to discuss the issues,” said Ahmad Wali Massoud, the head of the Massoud Foundation.
Sources familiar with Ghani’s meetings with the Afghan politicians have said that a meeting will be held between Ghani and 15 to 20 influential political leaders of Afghanistan in the near future.