Afghanistan decides to boycott QCG future meetings
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some lawmakers on Tuesday said President Ashraf Ghani had decided to boycott future meetings of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) and expressed optimism about peace talks with the Gulbadin Hikmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA).
The lower house or Wolesi Jirga members quoted the president as expressing these views during his last night’s meeting with members of parliament at the Presidential Palace. Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and senior security and government officials were present on the occasion.
The QCG which consists of the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China has held several rounds of meetings in Kabul and Islamabad since January aimed at jump-starting negotiations.
The group had so far held four meetings and its last meeting formally invited the Taliban to arrive at peace talks with the Afghan government in the first week of March, 2016 in Islamabad. But the Taliban under their new supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour refused to appear for the talks.
However, HIA, the second largest militant group after the Taliban, dispatched a delegation to Kabul to hold peace talks with the Afghan government after Ghani and the High Peace Council (HPC) extended the group an invitation.
Lawmaker Irfanullah Irfan, who attended the meeting with President Ghani, said the MPs pledged their support for the country’s armed forces and utilising all resources to ensure the security forces’ needs and requirements were met.
He said the president asked lawmakers it was the time to put aside internal differences and prioritise issues of national importance.
“The world has recognised the efforts of Afghan security forces and has assured their complete support. The covert policies of Pakistan had been exposed that Islamabad was never sincere with Afghanistan and we have developed strategies on peace talks and military response,” Irfan quoted the president as saying.
According to Irfan, the president said he had decided to boycott future meetings of the QCG and explore new ways of conducting peace talks.
Jumaddin Gyanwal, another member of the Meshrano Jirga, said the QCG meetings had no outcome and thus boycotted by the Afghan government.
He said the government had launched new efforts with the help of other countries to bring peace and stability to the country.
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