Ghani, VP Saleh reiterate the need for an Afghanistan republic

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said a republic government was essential for the people of Afghanistan and that peace was crucial.

Speaking during a visit to the eastern province of Nangarhar, Ghani also called on the Taliban to respect the people’s demands.

“The republic system is our joint investment,” Ghani said.

Ghani also instructed the acting minister of education to allocate 4,000 posts for teachers in the province. At the same time, Ghani commemorated the 100th death anniversary of Bacha Khan in the province.

Traveling with him on Thursday was Amrullah Saleh, the first vice president who said that government’s condition in terms of peace is that a republic system is maintained and the election process adhered to.

Saleh however criticized the Taliban for the ongoing killings in the country and accused the group of fighting in Afghanistan for the interests of foreigners.

Saleh said the Taliban are not prepared to end the war in accordance with Islam and then blamed the group for drawing out the peace process.

Their visit meanwhile comes amid a rising call among stakeholders, including the United States, for the establishment of an interim government.

According to sources on Wednesday, Ghani refused to meet with visiting US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday over this very reason.

Sources stated that Khalilzad was urging a shift to an interim government but that Ghani was dead set against it.

This latest development also comes just a day after peace talks resumed in Doha after a three-week break.

Although a “preliminary meeting” to kickstart the second round of talks late Wednesday in Doha, the teams both stated they will only formally meet again on Saturday.