Shortly after his pre-recorded message to the nation, President Ashraf Ghani held a consultative meeting with political and jihadi leaders who supported his notion for preventing further instability in the country, the Presidential Palace said.
The participants of the meeting agreed to assign an authoritative team for negotiations to represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Palace said.
The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the responsibility that will be assigned to the team, but analysts said it might push further plans for overcoming the current situation by pushing plans of ceasefire and an interim setup.
Ahead of this meeting, a group of influential Afghan political leaders met behind closed doors for many hours in a meeting led by Chairman Abdullah Abdullah to discuss the country’s situation, ceasefire and a possible plan to establish an interim government, sources familiar with the matter said.
Abdullah’s last week's visit to Doha was also discussed in the meeting, the sources said.
Former president Hamid Karzai, former vice president and head of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party Mohammad Karim Khalili, head of Jamiat-e-Islami Salahuddin Rabbani, presidential adviser Mohammad Mohaqiq, Parliament Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani, former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Sayed Mansour Naderi, Haji Din Mohammad, Babur Farahmand and Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar. The efforts come as the Taliban is rapidly advancing on the battlefields as it captured three provincial capitals and at least 10 districts in the last 24 hours.
Many Kabul residents interviewed by TOLOnews on Saturday had mixed views on the country’s future. Some of them were optimistic about a better future while others said they have lost their hope.
“Life is normal in Kabul when I see crowds everywhere. They should focus on provinces too. People are not in a good situation there,” said Enayat, a Kabul resident.
“Our youth want to have a comfortable life and a safe future. They want to study and have a peace of mind,” said Najiba, resident of Kabul.
“There are huge crowds, there are no problems. We are here to serve our people,” said Zakaria Ahmadzai, a traffic police.
Other Afghans said there is a need for an active role by political leaders to play to take the country out of the current situation.
“I think political leaders have a role in all these events, but at the moment, they are silent,” said Zabihullah, a Kabul resident.
“We pursued education and will never get disappointed. I will never leave the country because we want to see the result of our hard work,” university lecturer Yalda Naseri.
“We want to see what will be the situation and what plans will be there,” said Zia-ud-din, a Kabul resident.