According to sources, one week after the signing of the political agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the High Council for National Reconciliation--led by Abdullah--has still not begun its activities, a move that critics say will harm the peace efforts.
Sources told TOLOnews that Abdullah Abdullah, head of the council, is busy in discussions with his team on cabinet appointments, as he has been given a 50 percent share in the administration based on the political agreement.
The office of the High Council for National Reconciliation did not comment on this, but the Presidential Palace said initial steps have been taken in this respect.
The council led by Abdullah Abdullah has been formed to lead the peace efforts and negotiations with the Taliban, which have been delayed by a slow and contentious prisoner release with the Taliban, among other issues.
“Initial steps that are required were taken after the signing of the deal and the formation of the High Office for National Reconciliation. The Afghan government is involved in the peace process with a strong national consensus,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
But analysts said any delay in this process will harm the peace efforts.
“The cabinet appointment and appointment of minsters has more value for them than peace,” said Ahmad Saeedi, a university lecturer.
Some political figures said the council’s role is key in the peace process and that it should begin its activities.
“The individuals who will be in the reconciliation council or the negotiation team or other parts related to peace, should be sincere and expert,” said Sima Samar, former head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
“We should make sincere, integrated, dedicated, and ordered efforts for peace,” said Abdul Hakim Munib, Acting Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs.