Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at a campaign rally in Kabul on Wednesday said his team is ready to quit elections for the sake of peace in Afghanistan “even if peace comes a day before or after the presidential polls”.
“If the opportunity comes one day before or after the elections, we are ready for that and there is no doubt in it,” Mr. Abdullah said.
This comes as efforts for peace and elections are moving together in war-weary Afghanistan.
Mr. Abdullah pledged to establish the Kochi ministry if he is elected as the next president.
“The problems which exist among the Kochis [nomads] and other ethnicities of Afghanistan will be resolved in line with the constitution and citizens’ rights,” Mr. Abdullah said as he addressed a gathering of Kochis in Kabul.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Ahmad Wali Massoud at another gathering in Kabul accused the government leaders of failing to address issues of national interests.
“The Taliban who were branded as ‘terrorists, slaves and extremists’ are saying the first word in the foreign policy sphere, today. They appear in all diplomatic meetings and international platforms and say their words,” Mr. Massoud said.
In addition, another presidential runner Rahmatullah Nabil said at a ceremony in Kabul that Afghans should be part of the peace process with the Taliban.
Mr. Nabil stressed the need for a role to be played by religious scholars in the peace process and said those clerics who have ties with Pakistan’s ISI should be tackled.
Mr. Nabil who also served as head of the Afghan intelligence agency—the National Directorate of Security (NDS)—said the Taliban uses at least 22 war tactics aimed at demoralizing the Afghan feelings of pride.
This comes hours after the Taliban said the group is close to finalizing a peace agreement with the United States the ninth round of their talks in Doha.