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Peace talks must be led by Afghans: Senate

Peace talks must be led by Afghans: Senate

Jan 29, 2012 - 17:03

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A number Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon (Senate) members, echoing President Hamid Karzai’s position, on Sunday stressed peace talks with militants must be led by Afghans.

On the sidelines of the second Bonn conference, the US, Germany and Qatar agreed to set up a Talibaninfo-icon office in Qatar, a move supported by the Afghan government and welcomed by the fighters.

Addressing a general session of the Meshrano Jirga, Hidayatullah Rahai from central Bamyan province complained the government had been sidelined in the process.

The talks would be successful, only if headed by Afghans, he believed, saying: “This is our country. We must lead the negotiations, as Afghans know each other well.”

Rahai also called for reaching an understanding with Pakistaninfo-icon on bringing lasting stability to the country. However, he stopped short of giving details of Pakistan’s role in stabilising Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Senator Sifatullah Haqmal from central Logar province warned: “Decisions by outsiders cannot bring peace to Afghanistan.”

In order to build on the gains made over the past few years, Afghans must lead the talks, said Senator Anarkali Hunaryar, representing Sikh and Hindu minorities. “We hope the rights of womeninfo-icon and minorities will be given priority in the process.”

Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar told the house talks should be held with those who accepted the  Afghan Constitution and other laws. Anyone respecting the Constitution could also contest elections, he concluded.


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