President Ashraf Ghani says without eradication of poverty, it would not be possible to implement peace plans, insisting that the prospect of peace is correlated to economic development in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a gathering in Balkh province, Ghani assured that peace will come to Afghanistan, but he stressed that employment would be a “fundamental” issue in the country which could set the prospect of Afghan peace.
“Consultative Loya Jirga will be held in the country, a key point is that the future of peace is related to economic development,” he said. “Peace will come for sure, but employment is one of the major issues which could determine whether peace will be sustainable or not.”
The president, meanwhile, said that the integration of tens of thousands of Taliban fighters into the society would be a major post-peace issue in the country.
He said regardless of what will happen in the U.S.-Taliban ongoing peace talks, “the implementation of peace plans is impossible without eradication of poverty and reintegration of tens of thousands of fighters into the society – who are used to holding weapons and bullets.”
The Afghan president made the remarks in the wake of the United States’ talks with the Taliban. The latest round of negotiations that wrapped up earlier in March saw some progress, but no agreement on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Kabul has not been included in each round of the negotiations so far. Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib who visited Washington D.C. last week said it was humiliating that the Afghan government was excluded from the negotiations.
He also questioned U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad’s approach towards the Afghan peace process which led the U.S. to reportedly end contacts with him.
Recently, Khalilzad who met with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to U.S. Roya Rahmani said in a tweet said that peace is not an easy and straight path.
“To stay on track it’s of utmost importance we continue to walk it together,” he said.
In a separate tweet on the occasion of Nawruz festival, the U.S. envoy also said that he hopes the new year brings peace, reconciliation, and prosperity to Afghanistan.