Consultative Peace Jirga ends with 23-point declaration

KABUL: The Consultative Peace Jirga has issued final communique after five working days, stressing upon nation-wide truce ahead of Ramadan, opening of office for Taliban in the country and release of prisoners.
Around 3,200 people from all over the country participated in the Jirga from April 29 till May 3 in capital Kabul in a tight security.
After intense discussion and debate the Jirga which was disintegrated in 50 committees have presented the summary of their work in 23 points.
The Jirga delegates have mentioned the following demands in their resolution: 
1. Afghans remain committed to bringing a durable peace in the country. 
2. Taliban should listen to the Afghan people, end violence and bloodshed and take part in the country’s development. 
3. There should be a unified view of Islam by the Taliban and the country’s religious scholars. 
4. The Afghan government and the Taliban should agree on an immediate ceasefire starting from the first day of Ramadan. 
5. The Islamic Republic system should be preserved. 
6. Afghanistan’s Constitution should be preserved and if needed, amendments should be brought to it through required legitimate mechanisms.
7. The basic rights of all Afghans, including women’s rights and their rights for education, should be preserved in the peace process. 
8. A strong Afghan National Defense and Security Forces is a need for ensuring durable peace in the country.
9. The Peace Jirga delegates call on the involved parties and countries in the peace process to provide the ground for the opening of the Taliban’s political office in Afghanistan.
10. The Peace Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to preserve the achievements of the past two decades and in collaboration with the international community prepare a timeline for “responsible” withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. 
11. Members of the Peace Jirga call on all political parties and movements as well as influential figures in the country to enter the peace talks through a unified position. 
12. All involved parties should prevent from recommending preconditions for starting direct peace talks. 
13. All involved parties should implement flexibility towards prisoners and act on releasing prisoners as a goodwill gesture and for creating trust environment.
14. The delegates call on the international community and countries in the region to coordinate their peace efforts with the Afghan government and place the government of Afghanistan in the center of these efforts. 
15. The Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to maintain good relations with regional and neighboring countries in all its peace efforts and if it sees any interference by these countries, it should lodge its complaint to the United Nations Security Council. 
16. The Afghan government should expedite its consultations with influential figures in the country on peace efforts and on starting direct talks with the Taliban.
17. Reforms should be brought to the structure, formation, and activities of the High Peace Council. 
18. The negotiating team should include at least 50 members from former Jihadi leaders, religious scholars, women, youths, Kochis and representatives of different classes of the society.
19.  Taliban’s legitimate demands should be recognized by the Afghan government and it should take required steps for trust building. 
20. The Peace Jirga delegates remain committed to their efforts for peace as the messengers of peace and they will pass on the message of the Jirga to the relevant areas. 
21. The Jirga delegates call on the Afghan government to ensure good relations with the delegates and keep them updated about consultations and developments in the peace talks. 
22. The Afghan government, the Taliban, the international community, regional countries, and other involved parties should respect the demands of the Jirga delegates and take practical steps to reduce violence.
23. All suggestions and recommendations of the 50 committees of the Jirga should be published as an official document.
President Ashraf Ghani, who addressed the closing ceremony of the Jirga, said all the demands mentioned in the resolution will be implemented by the Afghan government.
Meanwhile, the United Nation mission in Afghanistan says in a tweet that it supports the call of the Grand Consultative Jirga for Peace and vows to help parties to end the conflict.
The Kabul Times

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