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Kandaharis share demands, concerns with Khalilzad

Kandaharis share demands, concerns with Khalilzad

Apr 02, 2019 - 20:23

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): US special envoy for Afghanistaninfo-icon peace Zalmay Khalilzad held separate meetings with officials, womeninfo-icon and youth regarding the peace process after arriving in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday morning.

Accompanied by NATOinfo-icon forces top commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller and president chief of staff Abdul Salam Rahimi, Khalilzad met separately with local officials, tribal elders, women’s and youth representatives.

According to the Kandahar governor’s spokesman, Aziz Ahmad Aziz, Khalilzad held talks with the governor, other officials and the youth at the Kandahar Airport.

Aziz quoted Governor Hayatullah Hayat as sharing hopes and concerns of local elders and people about the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Talibaninfo-icon with Khalilzad.

The governor said bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan was a long-term project and the US had launched its efforts to reach that goal.

Hayat said the fundamental talks would be held between the Afghan government and the Taliban, for which Khalilzad was making his efforts.

He said the Afghanistan peace process would be completely led and owned by the Afghanistan people --- a process he said should be transparent and the Afghans fully informed about.

The governor said the Afghan government wanted a dignified and lasting peace which should follow a permanent ceasefire and end to the bloodshed of Afghans.

Meanwhile, Kandahar provincial council head Hajid Syeda Jan Khakrezwal said he and a number of his colleagues attended talks with Khalilzad.

He said Khalilzad first briefed them about his work regarding the peace process and said previously the Taliban had no address and they only insisted on fighting, but now they had a known address and were ready for peace talks.

He quoted Khalilzad as saying that he wanted an end to the 40-year-old Afghanistan conflict and a lot of work remained in this regard.

The public representative said he shared people’s concerns about the peace process with Khalilzad and told him that the people of Afghanistan desired a peace that could prevent the past bitter experiences from recurring.

He said they told the US envoy that the peace talks should be led and owned by the Afghans under the guarantee of the United Nations.

On behalf of the youth, Ahmad Shah Sahil shared demands of the people of Kandahar regarding the peace process and insisted on preservation of gains achieved over the past 17 years.

Sahil told Pajhwok Afghan News that Khalilzad asked people what they wanted first ---peace or elections and the youth insisted peace should come first. He said the youth also demanded transparent elections and criticized the previous elections.

He quoted Khalilzad as saying that there would be good news about peace after the visit of a 200-member delegation to Qatar.

Kandahar women affairs director Ruqia Achakzai, who held talks with Khalilzad on behalf of women, said they called for preservation and promotion of woman’s gains so far achieved.

She said they told the US envoy that most of the victims of the war were people of districts and their views and demands about peace should be considered.

She said they insisted on inclusion of both the Afghan government and people in the peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Khalilzad promised to consider demands and views shared with him by the people of Kandahar and make no compromise on them.

Achakzai quoted the US envoy as saying that there were elements on both the sides who were against peace but his job was to remove hurdles in the way of peace in order not only to make peace with the Taliban but to end the decades old conflict.



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