Former VP Qanooni: New Roadmap for Peace Taking Shape

Former Afghan Vice President Mohammad Younus Qanooni on Thursday said that a new roadmap for peace in Afghanistan is taking shape with the support of the international community, and that the main focus will be on forming a regional and national consensus.

He said there will be some differences with the peace process in its new direction.

Qanooni made the remarks at the 26th anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, the former head of the Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan party.

Speaking at the event, Mohammad Mohaqiq, a senior adviser for President Ashraf Ghani on political and security affairs, stressed the need for the protection of democracy in Afghanistan.

At the same event, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the second vice president, said that the plan for the formation of an interim setup in Afghanistan will lead to the collapse of the entire system, adding that the people’s vote is the best option to determine the future of Afghanistan.

“No plan should be discussed in the absence of the Afghan government and against the national interests of Afghanistan; secondly, every plan should be discussed within the framework of protecting the political system and maintaining the Constitution of Afghanistan, not at the cost of the collapse of the system or the dissolution of the country’s Constitution.

However, Qanooni at the event said that with the arrival of a new delegation from the US, the peace process this time will proceed with the support of the United Nations and the process will reach a final conclusion.

“The (peace) process will gain momentum—the reconciliation process will have some changes in terms of its shape and how it is framed,” said Qanooni.

“The format and shape of the current reconciliation process between the two sides needs to be changed. It is a fact that our government is the official institution of Afghanistan–without government, peace is not possible. On the opposite side is the Taliban … reconciliation does not make sense without them, but the third angle which needs to be considered in the peace process is the angle of the people of Afghanistan,” added Qanooni.

“Those who are hired and paid for the destruction of Afghanistan and for the killing of the Afghan people–the idea of these elements is still focused on how to kill and in what way,” said Fazel Hadi Muslimyar, the head of Meshrano Jirga.

‘US Suggests Intl Conference on Afghanistan’

On Wednesday, a US State Department official on condition of anonymity told TOLOnews that the United States has suggested an international conference on Afghanistan.

The US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad during his three-day visit in Kabul has met with influential political figures and Afghan government leaders and discussed the establishment of a transitional period to move toward a future political structure, define the principles of the future system, and to hold a UN-hosted international conference on Afghanistan, according to the US official.

To highlight the key role of the United Nations, a special UN envoy for peace in Afghanistan is needed, according to the official.

Khalilzad will leave Kabul on Thursday for Doha to discuss the issue with the Taliban and to gauge their reaction, the official said.

Kabul meetings

Khalilzad reportedly discussed the formation of a participatory government in Afghanistan during his recent meetings with the Afghan political leaders in Kabul, including President Ashraf Ghani, sources familiar with the Afghan peace process said on Tuesday.

Sources close to former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), said that the US envoy handed them a draft of the participatory government plan and asked them to share their views as soon as possible.

According to the sources, the US envoy told the Afghan politicians that the peace talks in Doha will be sidelined and that a Bonn Conference-style meeting will be held at the international level to discuss the prospect of a participatory government that would include the Taliban.

Afghan Govt Considering Alternative Routes to Peace:

President Ashraf Ghani’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib has said on Wednesday that the Afghan government is working with various factions and considering a wide range of alternatives to achieve peace in the country.

Mohib said that any option for the future political system in Afghanistan needs a guarantee from the Taliban and must be backed up by a guarantee from the international community for peace to result.

Mohib said that any plan or alternative should guarantee the restoration of real peace in Afghanistan.

“We are holding discussions about a wide range of alternatives—but the fact is that the Taliban are busy waging war rather than talking peace,” said Mohib.

“The international community and the Taliban should both give their guarantee to the Afghan people before anything else,” added Mohib.