The Afghan government on Tuesday announced the establishment of the high advisory board for peace and the peace negotiating team of government aimed at creating a national consensus for brokering purposeful peace talks with the Taliban, a statement by the National Security Council reads.
In a decree issued by President Ashraf Ghani, it was stated that the creation of the high advisory board for peace and the peace negotiating team is aimed to create consensus at a national level for promoting lasting peace through consultations and discussions with Afghanistan’s former Jihadi leaders as well as political and social elites, including representatives from various segments of society.
According to the statement, main tasks of the board include:
• To provide constructive advice to the government-led peace process.
• To assess the recommendations of the working committees of the peace process.
• If necessary, it should suggest an agenda and effective framework for negotiations to the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
• To monitor the implementation of the peace process.
• Meetings of the advisory board shall be attended by the leaders of national unity government, heads of both houses of parliament, the chief justice, national security advisor, president’s chief of staff, the attorney general of Afghanistan, chairman National Directorate of Security (NDS), state minister for parliamentary affairs, chairman Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), head of Afghanistan Ulema Council and head of the secretariat of the High Peace Council (HPC).
• Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is tasked to take the responsibility for convening the meetings in coordination with members of the peace advisory board.
• Meetings of the supreme peace advisory board will be held on a monthly basis, but if necessary, emergency meetings will be called.
The cooperative structures of the advisory board as set out in paragraphs A to C of the decree, are as follows:
A: The peace negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
• The peace negotiating team consists of top and technical staff of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The peace negotiating team will he headed by the president’s chief of staff.
• The peace negotiating team shall undertake the following tasks:
• To take forward the peace process with the opponent's side on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in light of national interests of the country and according to the guidance of the supreme peace advisory board.
• To report regularly about the progress on peace to the supreme peace advisory board, if necessary, ask for guidance from the advisory board.
• President’s chief of staff will have the responsibility of the secretariat of the peace negotiating team and its technical responsibility.
B: Working committees of the supreme peace advisory board of the peace process:
In order to collect views of the people and provide more awareness, the supreme peace advisory board will be supported by the following committees, consisting of representatives of various segments of society.
In order to better understand and collect the views of the people, the Supreme Advisory Panel on the Peace Process will be co-sponsored by the following committees, composed of representatives of various sections of the community:
• Committee of representatives of the political parties
• Committee of representatives of the Ulema and clerics
• Elite Women's Committee
• Committee of tribal elders and representatives of the tribes
• Committee of civil society and culture activists
• Committee of representatives of the private sector
• Committee of representatives of refugees and overseas Afghans
• Committee of representatives of the youth
• Committee of representatives of families of war victims
The list of members of the upper committees will be finalized after consultation with elites from various segments of society.
The main tasks of the working committee will be the following:
• To gather public views about the peace process.
• To assess the views of the people and report back to the supreme peace advisory board.
• To provide information to the people about progress of the peace process.
• Each working committee will have one coordinator who will take responsibility for convening the meetings, preparing the agenda, guidelines and drafts.
• Meetings of the working committees will be called on a monthly basis, if necessary, the meetings will be convened on an emergency basis.
C: Secretariat of the supreme peace advisory board:
The National Security Council will have technical responsibility for the secretariat in order to bring about more coordination and readiness for conducting meetings of the supreme peace advisory board.
The list of members of the supreme peace advisory board will be the following:
• President Ashraf Ghani
• First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum
• Second Vice President Sarwar Danish
• Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah
• First Deputy Chief Executive Engineer Mohammad Khan
• Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq
• Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi
• Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of Parliament, Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar
• Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi
• National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib
• Head of President’s Office Abdul Salam Rahimi
• Attorney General Farid Hamidi
• State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Farooq Wardak
• Head of National Directorate of Security Masoum Stanikzai
• Head of the Ulema Council Qiyamuddin Kashaf
• Head of the Secretariat of the High Peace Council Mohammad Umer Daudzai
Jihadi leaders and politicians:
• Hamid Karzai, former president
• Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, former president of Afghanistan and head of Jabha-e-Nejat Milli party
• Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, head of Tanzim-e-Dawat-e-Islami
• Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami
• Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, member of Jamiat-e-Islami leadership
• Sayed Hamid Gailani, head of National Islamic Front of Afghanistan
• Mohammad Karim Khalili, head of Wahdat-e-Islami party and head of the High Peace Council
• Salahuddin Rabbani, Jamiat-e-Islami leader
• Sayed Mansoor Naderi, head of National Solidarity Party
• Sheikh Mohammad Asif Mohseni, head of Harakat-e-Islami party
• Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, head of Hizb-e-islami
• Haji Din Mohammad, head of Peace and Development party
• Atta Mohammad Noor, member of Jamiat-e-Islami leadership
• Amina Afzali, politician
• Sediqa Balkhi, a senator
• Mohammad Ismail Khan, member of Jamiat-e-Islami leadership
• Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghanistan Green Trend
This comes as those who have been named in the list - from political parties and former Jihadi leaders - so far have not commented that whether they will accept their membership in the advisory board.