Almost two weeks after the signing of the political agreement that formed the High Council for National Reconciliation led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the council has yet to begin the work for which it was formed.
But one of its members says progress is underway on the structure of the newly-established government body.
The second deputy of the council, Assadullah Saadati, said that completing the structure of the council will take time, something that critics say will cause the current opportunity for peace to be lost.
“The secretariat of the council is there… Contrary to what you are saying… the establishment of the High Council for National Reconciliation was done after the signing of the agreement,” Saadati told TOLOnews on Thursday.
The signing of the political agreement created hopes among Afghan politicians and the people for further steps in the peace process.
According to the Presidential Palace, more serious steps will be made after the council starts its activities.
“The establishment of the High Council for National Reconciliation is a very fundamental step. Important work has been done, but this is a process and other important tasks will also be done in this respect,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Analysts see the recent progress on the political front as a golden opportunity that should not be missed by Afghan political leaders.
“The members of the High Council for National Reconciliation should have been appointed over the last two weeks,” said analyst Shahzada Massoud, adding “the golden chance for intra-Afghan negotiations should have been used, and I fear that we will waste time with internal appointments and lose the chance.”
“The High Council for National Reconciliation should start its work as soon as possible and it should not be a symbolic council, it should be real. The council should be acceptable for all sides in war and peace in Afghanistan,” said Fazl Hadi Wazeen, a member of the leadership of the council for peace and rescue of Afghanistan – a council of prominent Afghan politicians.
Ordinary Afghans also called for a quick formation of the council and its involvement in the peace process.
“The peace efforts should be expedited as Afghans are faced with the coronavirus problem,” said Ferdaws, a Kabul resident.
“They have not succeeded in appointing their cabinet and they began their activities despite reaching an agreement,” said Mujtaba, a Kabul resident.
Based on the Ghani-Abdullah agreement, the High Council for National Reconciliation will lead the peace efforts.