Tribal councils seek greater role in peace drive
KABUL (Pajhwok): Tribal council chiefs on Wednesday criticised government’s peace drive, saying peace would continue to elude Afghanistan until recruitment by insurgents and enemies’ propaganda was prevented.
More than 100 tribal councils’ heads attended a gathering in Kabul and discussed ways how to find a negotiated end to the country’s conflict.
Azizullah Waziri, Paktika tribal council chief, called government’s peace efforts a failure, saying nothing tangible had been done during the past one decade.
“To date the peace talks remain in a symbolic form. The government and the High Peace Council (HPC) had no achievements in this regard,” he told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Based on reports around $800 million has been spent on the government-initiated peace process, but has little achievements.
But Acting HPC chief Abdul Hakim Mujahid said the council’s annual expenses stood at $2.8 million and since its inception, the department had only consumed $15 million.
He said there were elements who saw the war in their interest and the government should find ways to tackle this issue.
Without consulting tribal councils’ heads, he said, bringing peace was impossible, urging these chiefs to persuade insurgents to talks.
Gen. Atiqullah Amarkhail, the Amarkhail Council chief, said the councils’ role should not be ignored as they were capable of preventing the youth from swelling insurgent ranks.
“Until we cut the enemy’s hand and oust them from our villages, peace will be impossible to achieve.”
Amarkhail urged the councils to assist the government in this regard and prevent the enemies’ propaganda in different parts of the country. He warned unless Taliban were prevented from recruiting people, peace would be a difficult achievement.
According to reports, Taliban recruit the youth and adolescents in some provinces and families who deny sending their sons to join the rebels are forced into paying money or Kalashnikovs to the Taliban.
Recently Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Taliban’s new supreme leader, has asked the group’s commanders to avoid recruiting adolescent children.
Deputy Minister for Border and Tribal affairs Mohammad Yaqoub Ahmadzai said: “Recently a negative propaganda has reached its height. It’s the duty of the tribal councils to prevent such negative propaganda for the sake of supporting the regime and security forces.”
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