Efforts on to achieve peace consensus: Rabbani
Speaking at a gathering marking the first death anniversary of ex-parliamentarian Ahmad Khan Samangani in Kabul, Salahuddin Rabbani said no one would be allowed to misuse the peace process.
Samangani, who represented northern Samangan province in the Wolesi Jirga, was killed in a suicide attack at the wedding of his daughter on July 14, 2012 in Aibak, the provincial capital.
The former anti-Taliban commander was among 21 others killed in the attack that left another 61 guests injured.
No group has so far claimed responsibility, but Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi suspects the Taliban were behind the attack.
The attacker came to the party as a guest and embraced Samangani before detonating his explosives.Among the dead were police and intelligence chiefs of the province.
The HPC chief told participants of Samangani’s death anniversary a national consensus was prerequisite to have a durable peace in Afghanistan.
“For such consensus, the HPC has launched its efforts,” said Rabbani, who urged jihadi leaders, tribal elders, neighbouring countries and the international community to help the panel in pursuing its goal.
He said the council would not allow any external or internal power to use or hijack the reconciliation process for its own interest.
The HPC could not initiate as yet talks with the Taliban after they opened their office in the Qatari capital Doha two weeks ago due to a dispute over the symbols they used at the bureau. The sign also scuttled US plans to launch immediate peace talks with the Taliban.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins said on Wednesday the Taliban's insistence on being allowed to name their new office in Qatar as "Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" has thwarted plans to launch direct negotiations.
President Hamid Karzai vowed to boycott talks with the Taliban after they raised signs, flags and banners that effectively identified the office as representing a government-in-exile.
Under pressure, the Taliban removed the signs, took down the flag from the Doha compound. But they are refusing to take part in peace talks before being allowed to restore the symbols to their office, said Dobbins, who assumed his new job in early May.
The HPC chief asked the government to thoroughly investigate the case of Samangani and several others killed like him. Rabbani said the perpetrators of targeted killings should be brought to justice.
Paying tribute to Samangani, Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said he was a holy warrior and an influential tribal elder, who bravely defended the country against the Russian invasion.
He said Samangani had been assassinated in a planned terrorist attack that had been architected by the enemies of Afghanistan.
Ibrahimi asked the Taliban not to allow anymore the enemies of Afghanistan to use them for achieving their own designs. He also urged the rebels to renounce violence and participate in the upcoming elections.
Condolence messages from first Vice-President Mohammad Qasim Fahim and Junbish-i-Milli Afghanistan leader Abdul Rashid Dostum were read out at the anniversary at the Loya Jirga’s tent.
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