The High Council of Government that operates under the High Council for National Reconciliation convened its first meeting after months of delay on Saturday to ensure political consensus around peace among Afghanistan’s politicians.
There are around 20 mainstream political leaders in the structure of the council, including Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, who returned to Kabul from his hometown Jawzjan province on Saturday.
“We came here to meet the president as well as other political leaders,” Dostum said ahead of the council’s meeting. “We all have an upper hand in peace. Even if peace is not established, we should not allow anyone to disrupt the status quo,” said Dostum.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation who welcomed Dostum at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Saturday said the council will discuss a wide range of political issues, including peace.
“What was expected by Afghans hasn’t been met. Violence continues and targeted killings have not stopped,” Abdullah said.
Other politicians at the event stressed the need for unity among Afghans to move the peace efforts forward.
“If someone thinks of taking power militarily, they should rethink because Afghans are united,” senior presidential adviser Mohammad Mohaqiq said.
“The purpose of the council is to bring peace in Afghanistan,” President Ghani’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Shakir Kargar said.
Meanwhile, Mansour Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, at an event in Islamabad said he hopes the review of the Doha agreement is completed soon.
“Peace in Afghanistan requires consensus. It doesn’t just require internal Afghan consensus; it requires consensus at three levels. It requires consensus within Afghanistan. Primarily, it requires consensus in the region, and it requires consensus internationally because US and NATO forces have been present in Afghanistan for about two decades,” the Pakistani envoy said.