Most of the presidential candidates are against the upcoming Grand Consultative Peace Jirga, reasoning that it is an electoral campaign for President Ashraf Ghani, a Presidential candidate said on Tuesday.
“Presidential candidates do not accept this Jirga and will not participate. Electoral campaigners of President Ghani will come together in this meeting to announce his decision,” said Mohammad Shahab Hakimi, one of the candidates for the 2019 presidential election.
However, Ziaulhaq Amarkhail Deputy of the Commission responsible for organizing the Peace Jirga urges the presidential candidates not to challenge this grand council.
“I hope presidential candidates do not express discussions to challenge such a national process. Representatives from different communities across the country will participate in this Jirga and the government has no influence over the decisions,” Amarkhail said.
Among the pros and cons, representatives from minor ethnic groups say that they will deliver the message of peace and will express their concerns in the upcoming peace Jirga.
“We are a group of eight people participating at the Jirga to raise the voice of peace. We will call for enduring peace and stability in the country where the rights of every single Afghan is respected,” said Narender Singh Khalsa who has secured a seat in the Lower House of the Parliament on behalf of the Sikh community.
The Consultative Peace Jirga is scheduled for 29th of April in which at least two thousand people would participate. It would comprise of 23 sections to represent political parties, civil society, tribal elders, and member of the national council.
Currently, efforts are underway to choose people’s representatives for this Jirga across the country. But the process has faced many challenges in some provinces including physical clashes and fraud allegations.
Although, the government has announced that the main goal of the Jirga is to compile the views of people regarding reconciliation with the Taliban insurgent group.
However, the Peace and Moderation electoral ticket led by Mohammad Hanif Atmar the upcoming Jirga, saying the goal of the Jirga is not clear for the people and political movements.