Mohammad Mohaqiq, who has retained his post as second deputy to the CEO, despite being sacked by the president earlier this month, said the United States Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad should be given time to solve the “Afghan problem” but warned that current efforts will not end proxy wars in Afghanistan if there is no regional consensus on peace.
Mohaqiq said Afghanistan’s crisis will be prolonged if Khalilzad’s efforts to end the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan fail.
“It is good to give Khalilzad time and Khalilzad should consider the issue that the problem will not be solved with visiting only UAE or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan; there are many other interested countries in the region; ignoring them might result in another problem for us (Afghanistan). This move should continue both from inside (the country) and from outside as well,” Mohaqiq said.
Khalilzad, who met with Afghan media in Kabul on Monday, said there is a “moment of opportunity for peace” and “the key for finding the solutions for Afghan problems is in the hands of Afghans now,”.
The remarks by Khalilzad were met with mixed reaction from Afghan politicians.
Amrullah Saleh, former NDS Chief and Ghani’s running mate said the statement that “the key for peace is in Kabul” was a shallow evaluation – of the peace process.
“The determination and will for peace has always been in Kabul but the key to peace has always been held hostage in GHQ/Rawalpindi,” Saleh tweeted.
He said Afghans have been victims not culprits; therefore, “a package to re-victimize a victimized nation and condemn it to humiliation is not practical or sustainable”.
Referring to the “agreement”, reportedly reached between Khalilzad and the Taliban, presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil says he had opposed the signing of an agreement between NUG leaders and Pakistan’s ISI when he led the NDS.
He said that proposed agreement contained a provision that the Afghan government would prevent and counter any activities of separatist Baluchis and TTP from Afghanistan’s territory.
Nabil said Pakistan is interfering in Afghanistan. “Is the US and Unity Government accepting ISI talking points on Afghanistan, and confirming that it is Afghanistan that is destabilizing Pakistan, this shows who is surrendering to who,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor says Afghanistan has inched closer towards peace and that they demand the country’s leaders, Ghani in particular, prevent “anger and emotional reaction” as it is not in favor of the country.
Noor says any decision should be made in light of political wisdom and above all by paying respect to the national interests.
Noor said that the opportunity for ensuring peace in the country should not be undermined by “maintaining of Ghani and his aides’ power”.
An analyst and member of a Kabul-based political party said the plan cannot be judged as long as it is not agreed to on paper.
“We cannot say that it is surrendering or it is peace unless the plan is written on paper and is agreed to by the involved sides,” said Hamid Saboori, an international affairs analyst.
“Taliban is insisting on an interim government therefore if Khalilzad wants an interim government, then the key for peace will be this matter,” said Moeen Samkanai, head of Rights and Justice party.