Former president Hamid Karzai at a gathering in Kabul on Thursday said that Afghans want peace but not external deals on their soil between the US and other countries.
“For people of Afghanistan peace means end of war, return to a peaceful life, life with dignity, a united nation, with stability and with independence, a country with best relationship with it’s neighbors and a soil with no extremist and no Daesh and other groups... We call this peace,” Karzai said.
“We want to return to normal life and have relations with other countries including the US and western countries but not a country that is used for the interests of others under pretext of friendship... This is our definition from peace and if the US has this definition for us, we are completely supporting their process,” Karzai added.
He said that in his meetings with Khalilzad he told him that Afghans support the US peace efforts as much as they are against war in their country.
“We want peace but not external deals on our soil between the US and other countries,” Karzai said. “How are we reaching to this goal? The answer is the people’s unity.”
He said Afghans know that the US and Pakistan have an important role in the peace process because “they started the war and they must end it.”
Karzai said Afghans should have a role in ending the war in the country. "We want Afghanistan’s rights in the (peace) process,” he added.
He called on the United States and its allies to get Afghanistan neighbor’s “full trust” in the peace process and “peace will not come if our neighbors do not trust the peace process and think that they are not involved.”
Karzai’s remarks come while Khalilzad, who touted recent progress made during peace negotiations this month in Doha, Qatar.
The peace agreement is based on four central pillars, including a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The discussed agreement would also bar the Taliban from allowing terrorist groups like al-Qaida and Daesh from using the country as a haven to plan future terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that in the past four decades the war is ongoing in Afghanistan and “you witnessed what happened during this time.”
“Everyone believes in ending the ongoing situation,” Abdullah said. “The nation today is looking to us. The people are victims of the attacks but have different energy and want life like people in other countries.”
Abdullah said that it is the time for the direct talks between the government and the Taliban.
“Talks between the US and the Taliban moved forward over withdrawal of troops or counterterrorism and other issues, but it should be Afghans to decide on their fate,” he said.
“If the Taliban says that they want peace, then they must come to us to reach an agreement,” Abdullah said. “It is not possible that Taliban say they want to reach agreement with the US and NATO but not with other side.”
This comes as recently, more than 60 delegates from Kabul met with 17 members of the Taliban at Intra-Afghan Dialogue Conference on Peace in Doha where they agreed to reduce violence by stopping attacks on “religious centers, schools, hospitals, educational centers, bazaars, water dams and workplaces”.