Gillani says not consulted on HPC chief’s appointment
The National Security Council has appointed former vice-president Younas Qanuni as new chief of the HPC, a government body mandated to negotiate peace with the Taliban and other insurgent groups, a government source told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The decision to appoint Qanuni as the HPC chief was finalised during a meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday, the source said, adding President Ashraf Ghani presided over the meeting.
The High Peace Council has been without a head since January when its chief, Salahuddin Rabbani, was appointed as the country’s foreign minister.
Launched on August 26, 2015, the Sibghatullah Mojaddedi-led Council of Jihad and National Political Parties is a collation of several political and jihadi parties including Mujeddedi’s Jabha-i-Nijat Milli, Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani-led Mahaz-i-Milli, Haji Din Mohammad-led Hezb-i-Islami, Karim Khalili-led Wahdat-i-Islami and several others.
The council spokesman, Syed Hamid Gillani, said they came to know through the media that the Afghan government had appointed the HPC’s new chairman.
“We held a gathering this morning and expressed annoyance that neither we were consulted nor informed about the decision,” he said, without naming the new HPC head.
However, the government has not yet formally announced the appointment of the new HPC chief.
Hamid Gillani said durable peace in Afghanistan needed national mechanism and work should be done for peace under that mechanism, adding that the Council of Jihad and National Political Parties and the entire nation should have information about the composition of the peace body and nothing should be hidden.
He said the process to appoint the HPC chairman should be carried out in a transparent manner in order to be acceptable to the nation. “The person who is to be appointed as the HPC chairman should have specific qualities.”
Hamid Gillani said the new HPC chief should be one who had never been involved in the Afghanistan conflict and who believed in peace and had religious and political knowledge.
He also rejected the impression that the council was pro-government, saying their council praised good deeds of the government and criticized bad ones. He said they offered suggestions to the government about some issues and if the suggestions were rejected, they decided their future course of action.
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