It is more likely that the US in coordination with the Afghan government will ask Taliban in Qatar talks to send a delegation to upcoming consultative Loya Jirga in Kabul, an official from the High Peace Council said.
The Jirga, a traditional assembly, is an initiative by President Ashraf Ghani aimed at fostering a consensus at national level, specifically among the Afghan political elites and public for peace with the Taliban.
The Afghan government says that between 2,000 to 4,000 delegates will be invited from different parts of the country to attend the Jirga in Kabul on March 17. As their main task, the delegates will determine the red lines for talks with the Taliban after detailed consultations.
Several committees have been assigned to manage the Jirga and its agendas, said Sayed Ehsan Taheri, the High Peace Council spokesman.
He said delegates of the consultative Jirga will be representing people from all walks of life from all provinces of Afghanistan.
“Efforts are underway to invite the Taliban. We hope that work on nature of the invitation will be wrapped up soon so that we have Taliban representatives in the Jirga,” said Taheri.
This comes at a time that senior officials from the US and Taliban are set to hold the fifth round of talks in Qatar on Monday.
The recent diplomatic efforts by the US have sparked fresh waves of hopes among the Afghans who expect that this time, the two sides will agree on a ceasefire that will see an end to the 18 years of hostilities gripping the war-ravaged country.
“I think if people from all walks of life in Afghanistan, including the people from under government sovereignty and people out of government’s sovereignty and the opponents come and participate in this Jirga, it would be effective,” said Nader Baloch, member of Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of Parliament.
“In this Jirga, women from 34 provinces with diverse views should come and explain it and this will help us to move towards a settlement,” said Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, former advisor to President Ghani.
On February 11, President Ghani proposed the idea for such a Jirga which he believes will help to achieve a “dignified” peace in the country.