Atmar urges lifting of sanctions on HIA leadership
Atmar made the demand during a peace deal signing ceremony between government and HIA representatives in Kabul.
The landmark peace deal was finally signed after two years of negotiations between the representatives of the government and delegation of HIA.
On behalf of the government, High Peace Council (HPC) Chairman Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani and Atmar signed the agreement.
The pact is expected to be soon signed by President Ashraf Ghani and Hekmatyar soon.
Atmar said the first stage of the long-awaited peace deal had ended and the second would be completed soon, but gave no specific date.
He thanked the president, the chief executive officer (CEO) and their deputies and others and said: “Whenever we have faced problems we never hesitated from taking comprehensive guidance, which gave us hope that the peace deal with HIA will lead to a successful end.”
“Peace needs sacrifice and certainly Hekmatyar proved his sacrifice by expressing readiness for the peace process. There were some significant talks which needed compromise and the HIA in compliance with wishes of Afghan people showed its principled preparations for peace and I want to thank the group sincerely.”
Atmar said the peace process also had another side --- international supporters of Afghanistan --- if they had not contributed to the peace process, it would not have been a success.
“We didn’t want our international supporters to be involved in the peace process because it is just an intra-Afghan process but we want them to facilitate conditions in which peace can be achieved.”
Atmar said he wanted to thank the international community, especially the permanent members of United Nations’ Security Council including the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, for their support and standing alongside Afghanistan in the peace talks.
He said these countries had promised Afghanistan that if the talks with HIA went successful, they would help Afghanistan in lifting all sanctions on the HIA. He asked other countries to help Afghanistan in this regard as they had promised.
He said all requirements of the Afghan people had been incorporated in the deal, which was based on Islamic principles.
Atmar said the commitment of both sides to the Afghanistan Constitution and observance of all Afghanistan citizens and ethnic groups’ rights was part of the peace agreement.
He said both the sides committed themselves to supporting under any circumstances the achievements of Afghan people with regard to independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, justice and good governance.
“The Afghanistan government takes responsibility of the peace deal; firstly as the deal gets implemented, we will take a step towards lifting sanctions on HIA and pave the way for the return of its leadership and members with honour and safety. We will facilitate all needed political and security conditions for sustainable reintegration of HIA, which will lead to a just and stable peace.”
Atmar said the government paved the way for HIA’s participation in political system and all the mentioned items would be done in accordance with the Constitution.
“The agreement clearly states and HIA loved ones have promised that with signing of the peace deal in the supreme national interest, they will announce an immediate cessation of war. And they will observe the Constitution by all means and will bring to a halt all their military activities and according to an agreed plan, they will dissolve their military formations.”
Atmar also stated the HIA under the agreement would cut off connections with terrorist groups, if any. He asked other insurgent groups: “Some foreigners have told you that the Afghanistan’s government and authorities are not sincere in bringing peace and that they will not negotiate about foreign troops, peace, prisoners and sanctions, but all these are lie, the Afghan government remains is committed to peace talks.”
“HIA showed it was committed to ensuring peace in Afghanistan, and if you (Taliban) are sincere and really want peace then come to the negotiation table like we proved ourselves by signing peace deal with HIA.”
Atmar asked the Taliban to shun violence and follow suit and release themselves from foreign slavery. He said the government was ready to talk with Taliban on items it agreed upon with the HIA.
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