Senate wants regional powers included in peace talks
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Measharno Jirga or upper house members on Sunday said other regional countries like Iran and Russia should be included in the Afghanistan peace process so that their concerns could be addressed.
Also on Sunday, Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), the second largest militant group after the Taliban, announced to become part of the ongoing peace talks led by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).
The fourth meeting of QCG involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US last month invited the Taliban to direct talks with the Afghan government in Pakistan in the first week of March, but the talks were deferred after the Taliban refused to participate.
Hasibullah Kalimzai Wardak, 2nd deputy chairman of the upper house who chaired the Senate’s first meeting after the winter break, said peace was the need of Afghanistan, which could not achieved so far.
“Until there is clash between the regional powers, peace in Afghanistan cannot be established,” he said, adding that it was not a war between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but a clash between regional powers who wanted their concerns to be addressed.
He said countries like Iran and Russia were concerned about the outcome of the ongoing efforts at reviving the Afghan peace talks and these countries should be included in the peace process.
Farhad Sakhi, the first deputy chairman, said the Afghans were concerned about the international community’s negligence in providing equipment to the Afghan security forces.
He said until regional countries’ worries were not removed, peace would continue to elude Afghanistan.
Another senator Lailuma Ahmadi said the people of Afghanistan had lost faith in the peace process and durable peace could not be achieved until regional countries made sincere efforts in this regard.
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