President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said Afghanistan has achieved national and regional consensus on the issue of peace in Afghanistan.
According to Ghani, in the past, Afghans waited for others to do something about attaining stability in the country, but now they are using their own initiative to achieve peace.
Ghani said during a meeting in the Presidential Palace (ARG) that Afghanistan had achieved regional and national consensus on peace.
“The difference between the hopes now and in the past is that in the past Afghans were asking others to bring them peace, but today we use our own strength, strategies, determination and our national initiative. We have the ownership of our future in our own hands, we did it because we want our Constitution which is our basic rule to be implemented,” said Ghani.
Meanwhile, the office of the CEO Abdullah Abdullah has seconded ARG’s stance regarding the issue of national and regional consensus around peace.
“The process is led by the Afghans. Our international partners, and regional and foreign countries and neighbors of Afghanistan have a facilitator and partner role in this respect,” said the CEO’s deputy spokesman Omid Maisam.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai has called on the US government to review its policy on Afghanistan.
“I oppose it (the strategy) because I did not see the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement bring peace to Afghanistan, or bring stability to Afghanistan; there have been no signs at all; there was no indication in the US policy towards Afghanistan that would make me sign this. The partnership with the United States must also guarantee Afghanistan’s interests, I did not see that guarantee there,” said Karzai.
“Unfortunately, after the signing of the BSA by the new government, we saw that matters worsened in Afghanistan, there was a lot more insecurity in Afghanistan, a lot more Afghans died and suffered. So, we have not gained at all by the presence of US bases in Afghanistan or the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement, which is why we are asking the United States to reconsider its policy towards Afghanistan and to make sure that the US presence in Afghanistan is beneficial to Afghanistan as well,” he said.
Karzai also stressed the need for the involvement of regional actors, especially Pakistan, in the peace process in Afghanistan.
“China has been a very good friend of Afghanistan and a great neighbor of Afghanistan. We also believe strongly that there is a lot of scope for cooperation and that a deeper scope of cooperation is what we are seeking from China in the political arena. China has taken certain initiatives towards bringing peace in Afghanistan with some success.
“China is a very close and strategic friend of Pakistan and Chinese words with the Pakistani government carry weight. Being a great friend of Pakistan is an asset for us, China being a great friend of Pakistan is an asset for us; we believe that China can use that asset in a way that brings about good relations between us and Pakistan and also leads to peace in Afghanistan,” said Karzai.
This comes a few days after a report in the New York Times stated US President Donald Trump’s administration has told its top diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, a significant shift in US policy in Afghanistan, done in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the 17-year war.
The Afghan government has meanwhile not yet reacted officially to the reports.
The Taliban has long said they will discuss peace only with the Americans. But the US has mostly insisted that the group must talk with the Afghan government.
“There is no need for negotiations, there is a need for an international guarantee to stop the killing and the Afghan government is handing that over to the Taliban. This shows weakness and incapacity,” said an MP Amanullah Paiman.