Some members of mainstream political parties said they were not consulted by the government on the formation of the negotiating team which will attend intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban probably in the coming weeks.
The government announced on July 31 that a 15-member negotiating team has been finalized after discussions and consultations with all stakeholders.
“Consultations were not made about the structure of this team, but I think they have picked Mr. Hajji Batur Dostum on behalf of the Turks of Afghanistan and Junbish [Milli party],” said Abdullah Qarloq, deputy head of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan also called Junbish-e-Milli Afghanistan led by First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
“This issue was raised and discussed and it was said that the list was sent, but this list was never shared with any of the elders and also consultations were not carried out about members of the team,” said Abdullah Alizai, a close aide to former president Hamid Karzai.
“Jamiat appointed Mr. Mansour for this, but after that, we are not aware where this list is gone and how it is now,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, member of the leadership council of Jamiat-e-Islami party.
A spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen criticized the failure to disclose the names members of the government’s peace negotiating team.
“Either this process is under the influence of powerful elements or it is rooted in the internal differences about the names,” he said in a tweet.
But the Afghan government said the negotiating team is inclusive and complete.
“This delegation reflects political, social and ethnic diversity and they are fully prepared to attend the negotiating table,” said Najia Anwari, a spokesperson for the State Ministry for Peace Affairs.
But a member of Hizb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said they were consulted on the formation of the negotiating team and that they have introduced Ghairat Baheer to represent the party in the team.
This comes as the US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has resumed his new trip to Afghanistan and Qatar where he is expected to sign a peace deal with the Taliban.
Mr. Khalilzad will consult with the leadership of the Afghan government on the peace process and encourage full preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations.