KABUL (Pajhwok): Seven presidential candidates on Sunday announced forming a Consultative Jirga to broker peace and demanded their participation in the ongoing peace negotiations on behalf of the Afghan people.
Presidential candidates Faramarz Tamanna, Noor Rahman Liwal, Ghulam Faroq Nijrabi, Enayatullah Hafiz, Mohammad Ibrahim Alokozay, Mohammad Hakim Torsan and Mohammad Shahab Hakimi announced the council’s creation in Kabul.
They said the ongoing peace process was ambiguous --- a reason they decided to take part in the process on behalf of other Afghans.
They said they were grown in the Afghan society and had not been involved in bloodshed and wanted to represent the Afghans as impartial representatives in the ongoing peace talks.
Faramarz Tamanna said only national consensus could bring peace to the country, not regional or international consensus in such a situation.
“The Afghan government is trying to sabotage the peace process and the US is seeking its own interests and the Taliban also have no strong intention for peace negotiations, so we created this Jirga to broker in these negotiations,” he said.
“More players in the peace negotiations would cause more vagueness in the process”, he said.
“10 years ago, addresses and venues for peace talks were chosen outside Afghanistan and this wrong decision led to the conflict of interests among countries involved and turned the peace process more complex,” he said.
About interference of foreign countries in Afghanistan, he said foreign interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, particularly peace process, should end.
Ghulam Faroq, another presidential hopeful, criticized regional and cross-regional countries and said neighboring countries, the US and Russia were shedding the blood of Afghans everyday due to their old rivalries.
Mohammad Hakim Torsan criticized the government for what he said lacking the will for peace with the Taliban.
He said some groups inside the government did not want peace because they had their interests in the war.
Enayatullah Hafiz, another candidate, said, “We start our negotiations with the warring sides from today with advices from political parties, civil society activists and the Afghan people, we will later share details of our talks with the public.”
Mohammad Ibrahim Alokozay called presidential candidates’ role in peace process as important and said, “Unfortunately Afghans are unaware about what is discussed in the peace talks.”
Noor Rahman Liwal, another presidential hopeful, called the ongoing peace efforts as complicated and said the impasse needed a broker to make the dialogue effective.
“Presidential hopefuls by creating the Jirga want to broker peace talks between the negotiating sides,” he said.
A statement from the seven presidential runners said efforts so far made about peace by the Afghan government, the UN, some Islamic countries and Afghanistan allies particularly the US had no a tangible result.
The Jirga thanked regional countries who struggled for advancing the Afghan peace process and said, “We believe regional mechanisms for peace had never produced good results for our country but they even added to the complexity in peace process and conflict of interests of involved countries.”
 The source said the Jirga could broker the Afghanistan conflict in a better manner and could help simplify the peace process and end the war in the country.


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