The Afghan government on Thursday released a list of 21 delegates intended to hold intra-Afghan peace talks with the Taliban.
According to the State Ministry on Peace Affairs, the peace negotiating group is an inclusive team and has prepared the agenda for talks with the Taliban, in order to reach a negotiated settlement to end the ongoing conflict in the country.
“With the announcement of the peace negotiating team, the concerns among the people regarding the preparation by the government will be reduced. we have also clarified our agenda for the negotiations to end the war. We are ready to negotiate every moment to achieve peace and end the war,” said Naji Anwari, a spokesperson for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs.
However, some members of the peace team have said that they were not consulted about the inclusion of their names on the list and that they do not have information about the peace agenda with the Taliban.
“It could be a better list if there were more women in the delegation. This is the beginning, we hope that with the passage of time more technical groups are formed,” said Fawzia Kofi, a member of the delegation.
“My name was also included in the list, which was published last night in the media, but I was never consulted by the central figures of the two governments (Ghani and Abdullah), so I do not have enough information about it,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a member of the delegation.
According to the Afghan government’s list, the negotiating team will be led by Masoom Stanikzai, the former head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), and will include 14 other men and five women expected to have the necessary credentials to engage in peace negotiations with the Taliban.
other members are Nader Nadery, Abdul Matin Bek, Habiba Sarabi, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Khalid Noor, Kalimullah Naqibi, Enayatullah Balkh, Shahla Farid, Mohammad Natiqi, Hafiz Mansour, Fawzia Kofi, Batur Dostum, Ghairat Baheer, Fatima Gailani, Zarar Ahmad Moqbel, Ghulam Farooq Majroh, Rasoul Talib, Sharifa Zurmati and Ayoub Ansari.
However, a number of political parties have said that the list is not inclusive.
“The list is not inclusive, there are serious problems with it. With due respect to all people on this list, this is not acceptable for political parties,” said Fazel Hadi Wazeen, a close aide to Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban have said that a delegation from the group will soon hold talks with the Afghan government about the release of Taliban prisoners in Kabul.
“The delegation will assess the issue of prisoners to make sure that there is no change on the list of those who are supposed to be released,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
“The Taliban delegation has not arrived yet, if they are supposed to come, we request the honorable Ministry of Public Health to ensure their medical check up at the airport,” said Waheed Omar, director general of the president's office of public and strategic affairs.
The delegation was expected to be announced two weeks ago, but the political impasse which emerged in the country between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah apparently delayed the announcement.