Senate throws weight behind HIA-govt agreement
KABUL (Pajhwok): Welcoming the draft peace agreement between the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan and the government, the Meshrano Jirga on Sunday asked the government not to allow anyone to sabotage the peace talks.
After two months of dialogue between an HIA delegation and Afghan government representatives, both sides reached a draft peace agreement.
Under the agreement, the government would try to get lifted international sanctions on HIA and remove names of HIA members on UN and US blacklists.
HIA prisoners would be released and political activities of HIA would be allowed. The agreement would be enforced after being signed by HIA leader Hekmatyar and President Ghani.
Reacting to the agreement, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Saturday asked the government not to compromise over national unity and human rights especially of war victims in peace talks and in deals with insurgent groups.
The rights body asked the government to take decisions in accordance with the national Constitution and protect the freedom of speech, women’s and children rights, tribes and minorities, democracy and socio-political and cultural pluralism.
However, a Meshrano Jirga or upper house of parliament member, Dr. Zalmay Zabulai, welcomed the draft agreement, but criticized AIHRC and asked the government to prevent attempts at derailing peace talks.
“Not only Hekmatyar, but many others who violated human rights are now working with the government. They should also not be forgiven. Anyone who joins the peace process, we should welcome them and should not prevent them from jointing the process,” he said.
Senator Gulalai Akbari from Badakhshan also welcomed the peace agreement, saying “We will not let anybody prevent peace process in Afghanistan. Any group that drops arms should be encouraged and supported in order to encourage others to join the peace process.”
Another senator, Mohammad Hassan Hotak, said all people of the country, especially the people of Uruzgan, supported the agreement between the HIA and the government.
“It has not been mentioned in the agreement what would happen to the arms and ammunition the HIA owns? Whether they will be handed over to the Afghan government or will remain with the HIA,” Senator Nisar Haris said, while welcoming the deal.
Some other senators also voiced support for the agreement, asking the government to prevent elements creating problems in this regard.
No individual or group has the right to create hurdles to peace talks, first deputy chairman, Farhad Sakhi, who chaired today’s meeting, said.
He asked the AIHRC to consider sensitivity of the issue and not to create hurdles for peace talks with the HIA.
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