No hurdle sans evidence to peace process acceptable: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said he would not accept any type of obstacle lacking substantiating evidence to the peace process, claiming progress in concluding the much-awaited peace deal with the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA).
The president said this after offering Eidul Adha prayers at the Presidential Palace mosque where the two deputy chief executive officers, some former jihadi leaders, ministers, lawmakers and senior civil and military officials were present.
The president said the peace agreement with the HIA, led by former prime minister and jihadi veteran Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, would be finalized soon. He said the Afghans would soon be witnessing the end of war.
The High Peace Council, a government body tasked with negotiating peace with rebel groups, and an HIA delegation have been holding peace talks over the past several months and the two sides have signed a draft peace agreement.
President Ghani thanked the HIA delegation and said: “The peace agreement will be finalized soon. It is hoped very soon the environment of peace will be invented and people will witness the war ending and this should happen in a short span of time.”
The president insisted he would not accept any hurdle to the peace process in the absence of evidence and urged all political parties and influential figures to seriously cooperate with the peace bid.
“If hurdles are created in the way of peace, it is my duty to inform the nation about them and will call on the people to stand in a single row for establishing peace.”
A source told Pajhwok Afghan News that Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah had criticized some terms of the agreement with the HIA. Abdullah visited the house of HPC head Pir Syed Gilani yesterday and discussed with him his concerns.
President Ghani said “our aim is a stable and united Afghanistan in line with the country’s constitution in order all tribes and people of Afghanistan see themselves in unison and harmony.”
The president said peace was the demand of Afghan nation and there was consensus in this regard. “We are on the right path, to determine the future of our coming generations, this is the path of millions of Afghans and we will continue the journey with commitment, courage and resolute determination.”
Ghani said Allah, the almighty, preferred peace over war and as the president it was his primary job to follow His orders and implement the Constitution.
The months-long peace talks between the HIA and the government took place in several phases and a draft peace agreement was signed, but later some differences occurred and the agreement’s signing was delayed.
Last month, the HIA top negotiator, Eng. Amin Karim, once again visited Kabul in a last ditch effort to conclude the peace agreement with the Kabul administration.
Hekmatyar’s son Habib Rahman two days ago wrote on his Facebook page that all points in the agreement were agreed upon by the two sides after prolonged discussions and it was expected the agreement would be signed on Saturday last.
However, the agreement is yet to be signed.
President Ashraf Ghani in his Eid address said he had not forgotten the wishes of Ghazi Amanullah Khan and he would fulfill his wishes as the president.
The president also urged well-off people to support families of the martyrs and called as against Islam the killing of innocent people. “Human cannot be sacrificed, but animal can be. Those who shed the blood of humans are acting against Islam.”
Ghani also wished good health and early recovery to veteran former jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, who is in hospital in India.
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