Ghani Seeks Powerful Consensus on Peace as He Meets Politicians

In a series of his recent meetings with influential political leaders, President Ashraf Ghani on Friday met with former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, as part of efforts to develop national and political consensus around peace.

The country’s political situation, the peace process, strengthening of political consensus and ensuring a just and lasting peace in the country were discussed in the meeting, the Presidential Palace said.

Sources told TOLOnews that the Presidential Palace believes that the creation of the High Council of Government helps to increase meetings and consultations among the country’s political leaders for better management of the peace process after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.

“So far, decision has not been made on the name and the authorities of the council,” said Dawa Khan Menapal, a presidential spokesman.

Based on the political agreement signed between Ghani and Abdullah as a result of election deadlock last year, the creation of the High Council of Government was aimed to develop and take major decisions about national issues of the coutnry, however, the president wants the council to have an advisory role rather than a decision-making one.

“Dr. Ashraf Ghani ignores all the recommendations that are raised for reforms, otherwise, the establishment of high council of government leaders where there are presence of influential personalities of Afghanistan for major decision makings on national issues. This also helps to avoid dependence on other local institutions,” said political analyst Abdul Hafiz Mansour.

Sources have said that the council will be comprised of 25 powerful political leaders of Afghanistan.

Sources said that Ghani has reported suggested Fazel Fazly as head of the secretariat of the council. Fazly currently serves as the head of Administrative Office of the President.

“The situation is critical and it could be worse. I want to address the president if he is willing to make a decision on behalf of the entire nation. He will be the winner of the ground,” said Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, former vice president.

According to the sources, Ghani has so far met some of the names including Abdullah Abdullah, Hamid Karzai, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Atta Mohammad Noor, Mohammad Mohaqiq, and Mohammad Karim Khalili.

Reports say that Ghani also dispatched his senior aide Mohammad Mohaqiq to talk with Marshal Dostum in Uzbekistan.