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Personal interests behind rifts over peace: Survey

Personal interests behind rifts over peace: Survey

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Apr 18, 2019 - 15:18

KABUL (Pajhwok): Of every 10 Afghans, eight support peace efforts and say growing of differences between politicians and the government only serve personal interests, reveals an online survey conducted by Pajhwok Afghan News.

In recent months, Taliban and US representatives have held five rounds of peace negotiations a process that is still underway. An intra-Afghan meeting is expected to take place from April 19 to 21 in Doha.

A meeting of this nature involving Afghan political figures Taliban was held in Moscow on February 5. However, the Afghan government was not part of that gathering.

Presidential election teams of CEO Dr. Abdullah, Hanif Atmar, Rahmatullah Nabil, Ahmad Wali Massoud, Faramarz Tamana and Noorul Haq Ulumi have already announced they will not participate in the planned Consultative Loya Jirga on peace.

Similarly, Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar says he would not attend the planned Consultative Loya Jirga until changes are made in members and they are given the right to take a decision.

Executive Director of Jamiat-i-Islami Atta Mohammad Noor has also voiced reservations about the government-released list of 250 people for intra-Afghan talks in Doha. He would not attend the meeting.

Vice-presidential candidate in President Ghani’s team Amrullah Saleh would also stay away from the Doha meeting.

Pajhwok Afghan News conducted an online survey on its Facebook page. Respondents were reminded of differences between the government and politicians.

People were asked whether squabbles over the peace dialogue were in personal or national interest and what they expected of the government and political figures.

Within 24 hours, around 5,600 Facebook users took part in the survey and 138 individuals shared their views on the subject.

In this survey, 72 percent of individuals criticised the existing differences on the peace process.

Hekmatullah Noori, wrote: “From President Ghani to me (an ordinary person), no one cares about the national interest. If someone says national interests are important to him, he lies.”

Zalmay Wahid, sharing his view, assailed the politicians for ignoring the national interests. He called on the government to take concrete steps for stabilising the country.

Another respondent, Dr. Abdullah Sarwari, said: “National interests are important to the government, but brainless politicians are averse to the peace parleys.”

Abdul Hanan wrote: “Millions of dollars have been spent and thousands of compatriots have laid down their lives. But some elements still oppose peace talks because their personal interests will be at risk if peace returns.”

Opponents of peace talks are the enemies of Afghans, who have been yearning for an immediate end to the ongoing trail of murder and mayhem, according to him.

Ahmad Zia Rassouli said they did not need politicians, who were accountable for the conflict. There should be no cause for concern at divisions among them, he believed.

He supported President Ghani’s efforts to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan, saying any mismatch of perceptions among politicians on the issue would be met with public disdain.

These differences were essentially driven by the personal interests of politicians, who did not bother about the national interest, he alleged.

Today, Afghanistan should have been a developed country like Japan as both won independency at the same time, said Hewad Jan Himmat. The current situation is the best chance for peace and the Afghans should seize the opportunity, he stressed.

No one said the rows were in the national interest. But Hamid Qiamzada warned: “The people selected for participating in the Qatar meeting will convert peace into fire.”

sa/mud

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