The High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) on Thursday said that eight of the eleven political leaders who have been invited for talks with the Taliban in Doha have said they will send a representative or will attend themselves.
Assadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the HCNR, said that the decision was made in a meeting under the leadership of HCNR chief Abdullah Abdullah in the Sapidar Palace today.
Abdullah Abdullah, Hamid Karzai, Yunus Qanooni, Karim Khalili, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Salam Rahimi, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Enayatullah Baligh and Fatima Gailani are part of the team.
According to the HCNR, Abdullah Abdullah, Hamid Karzai, Mohammad Karim Khalili, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Salahuddin Rabbani, Babur Farahmand, Salam Rahimi and Fatima Gailani will leave on Friday for Doha for peace talks with the Taliban.
“God willing, we will soon witness some gains in this regard or at least get an understanding of the Taliban’s stance toward peace,” said Assadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the HCNR.
Meanwhile, the Hizb-e-Islami party has said that the party’s chairman Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will travel to Doha on Saturday.
Saadati said that during the talks the main agenda will focus on the ceasefire.
“There is a possibility that the timeline of talks in Doha is extended if there is progress,” added Saadati.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Envoy for Pakistan, has said that a peace delegation will also visit Islamabad in the next few weeks where they will hold talks with Pakistani officials on the peace in Afghanistan.
According to Daudzai, the peace conference was expected to be held in Afghanistan on July 17 in Pakistan, but it has been delayed for a few days due to the trip to Doha by Afghan political leaders.
President Ashraf Ghani is also expected to meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday in Uzbekistan. Imran Khan is likely to invite Ghani to attend the Islamabad conference, according to reports.
Abdullah Abdullah, Karim Khalili, Mohammad Younus Qanooni, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Salahuddin Rabbani, Ismail Khan, Ata Mohammad Noor, Sayed Hamed Gailani, Sayed Eshaq Gailani, Batur Dostum and Mirwais Yasini are among the top invitees who will travel to Islamabad. 21 prominent Afghan leaders from Afghanistan have reportedly been invited to the conference in Islamabad.
Daudzai said that Taliban representatives have not been invited to the meeting.
“The purpose is to articulate what we want from Pakistan, what our idea for peace is, and what we want from Pakistan in view of the present situation and what Pakistan can do in this respect,” said Mohammad Omar Daudzai, Ghani’s special envoy for Pakistan.