Ghani Opposes Hasty Peace, Has ‘Very Clear’ Plan

President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday said he has a clear plan for peace compared to “external plans” but reiterated that there shouldn’t be haste in the process.

Ghani, whose message was played to a large gathering of residents from northern provinces in Kabul, said that there is a need for the establishment of a peace government.

Ghani added that he will transfer power through elections after holding a Loya Jirga–a grand council–and taking the people’s advice. But he reiterated that he will not run in any future election.

“Our proposal for transition from an imposed war to a just and permanent peace is very clear,” Ghani said, referring to his proposed plan for peace. “I will not go into details … any proposals that come from outside, we have the capacity to proposed more inclusive and principled plans.”

The president reiterated that there is a need for patience in the peace efforts.

“Peace is a forum between us, the Taliban and the international community. Therefore, we should achieve results through continued and effective discussions on basic principles. No one should hurry. We need to have a plan to exchange for every proposal offered by our partners,” Ghani stated.

He referred to his previous remarks by saying that the Constitution is the basis for legitimacy in Afghanistan.

“The key point is: There should be legitimacy in all processes of transitioning from war to peace. The basis for legitimacy is the current Constitution, and the current Constitution has clear ways for its amendment,” Ghani said.

Pointing to elections, Ghani said: “The tool for legitimacy is an election. Our promise and commitment to you are that national power will be transferred to our elected successor based on your will.”

Ghani called on the Taliban to join a Loya Jirga–a grand assembly–and share their feelings and demands with the people of Afghanistan.

Echoing President Ghani, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said at the event that they will make sure to move the peace efforts forward with precision.

Saleh said a US team led by Zalmay Khalilzad has shared the details of the agenda of the upcoming Turkey conference on Afghanistan with the Afghan government. He said the conference might be held at the end of this week.

“The agenda that has been predicted for the Turkey conference contains an agreement on (Afghanistan’s) achievements… Is the Taliban seeking to come and lash people and we will stay silent? Never,” he said.

Saleh said that the first part of the peace talks in Turkey will include discussions on guiding principles.

“It means that the Taliban has an obligation because we have not lost the fight, neither has the Taliban captured part of our soil through fighting, and they must accept that Afghanistan will not become Taliban, but the Taliban can come to Afghanistan and live in peace as a part of Afghanistan. This is a principle… The negotiations will not move an inch unless the Taliban accepts it is part (of Afghanistan),” he explained.

Saleh said that the Taliban should accept that the group is only part–not all–of Afghan society. He said the release of the Taliban prisoners as part of the peace efforts was a “mistake.’

“One of the tasks that everyone in this society admits was one of the biggest mistakes was the release of 5,500 Talibs from prison,” Saleh said.

This comes as the Afghan government is preparing to attend the upcoming conference on Afghanistan in Turkey.

Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said he has received the final draft of the republic’s peace proposal from the sub-committee of the Leadership Committee of the reconciliation council. Officials said the plan will be presented in the Turkey conference.