Fazel Hadi Wazeen, the second running mate to presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said Saturday that political parties had agreed to establish a reconciliation council to lead the peace process and begin intra-Afghan talks.
According to Wazeen, a number of prominent figures attended a joint meeting of political parties at Mohammad Karim Khalili's home on Saturday and discussed how the creation of a reconciliation council is the only way to address the challenges ahead of the peace process.
Mohammad Ismail Khan, a mujahideen leader, says that unless the political crisis is resolved, talks between the Afghans and the Taliban will not begin.
“They (government) has designated those who have not been endorsed by the politicians and criticized the list, and the (politicians) wanted to make their list with the government after the next consultation they had,” said Ismail Khan.
The meeting was attended by Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai, Ghulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami, Salahuddin Rabani, leader of Jamiat-e-Islami party, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Mohammad Karim Khalili, the head of the High Peace Council (HPC), Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan and Dadfar Spanta, the former National Security Advisor, along with a number of other political figures participating in the meeting.
According to a statement issued after the meeting, these political figures discussed the way to establish the reconciliation council and start talks between Afghans, in order to move out of the political crisis.
“Naturally, as long as they do not resolve disputes, and no negotiating body is created, they will in fact provide the Taliban with more opportunities to enter the negotiations with greater supremacy,” said Ismail Khan.
Meanwhile, Wazeen, the second running mate to presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said that in the meeting it was emphasized that the government should be part of the reconciliation council, not the leader of the peace process.
“Once again, it is emphasized that inter-Afghan negotiations should begin as soon as possible and that a group should be set up to decide on the negotiating body,” said Wazeen.
The government has not yet responded but said it would announce a list of consulting bodies after the Taliban prepared to begin talks with the Afghan government.
“The Afghan government has not finalized the negotiating board yet, and the list will be announced when the Taliban enters into direct talks with the Afghan government,” said Latif Mahmood, deputy spokesman for the Presidential Palace.
The president had insisted on Monday in his oath inauguration last week that he would announce the list of delegates on Tuesday, but the delegation has not yet been finalized.
On the other hand, political parties have previously said that the government's negotiating body with the Taliban has been formed without consultation with political parties and is unacceptable to them.