Afghan High Peace Council: Burhanuddin’s son tipped as peace interlocutor

Published: April 9, 2012

Sources claim appointment will also kick-start Pak-Afghan talks. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Salahuddin Rabbani, the son of Afghan peace envoy and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, is being tipped as the new Afghan peace envoy to revive the stalled reconciliation process, an Afghan diplomat told The Express Tribune in Islamabad.

Ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been strained and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been in a fix over the appointment of the new chief of the High Peace Council since Burhanuddin’s assassination last September.

“President Karzai had made up his mind to appoint Burhanuddin’s son as the new chief but several senior former jihadi leaders had opposed his appointment,” the diplomat told The Express Tribune.

The Afghan diplomat went on to add that former Afghan president Sibghatullah Mujaddadi had been expecting to be appointed as the new peace envoy, adding that his quest for the post had delayed Burhanuddin’s replacement for nearly six months.

“The president feared losing the support of Burhanuddin’s Jamiat-e-Islami party and felt Salahuddin’s appointment would retain his support from the party,” he added.

Salahuddin was appointed the head of Jamiat-e-Islami after his father’s assassination.

Afghanistan immediately suspended all high-level contacts and joint peace efforts after Rabbani’s assassination at his Kabul residence. Afghan intelligence had even alleged the involvement of Pakistani elements in the murder plot, a charge dismissed by Pakistan.

Sibghatullah Mujaddadi’s resignation from all government positions last week paved the way for his appointment, an Afghan source in Islamabad said, adding that a formal announcement is likely to be made in the coming weeks.

After Mujaddadi’s resignation, President Hamid Karzai had also been involved in consultations with other senior allies including the chief of National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani, also believed to be among the favourites for the peace emissary’s slot.

Meanwhile, Afghan presidential spokesperson Aimal Faizi said that President Karzai had finalised the name of the Afghan High Peace Council chief. He did not say who that person was though.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Rehmat Ullah
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:45PM

    So a puppet is finally installed, so that Mr. Hamid Karzai should keeping the control to himself.

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  • ather
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:14PM

    there will be no peace until american forces are here. after the american are gone all sides should sit together and make a common government for 10 years. after that they should form parties to enter into democratic system.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:27PM

    Although Salahuddin is a son of the late Burhanuddin Rabbani, it’s still unclear whether the Taliban would accept this unknown figure as the new peace interlocutor. No doubt Burhanuddin had played a significant role in the mujahideen fighting against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and been president of Afghanistan. Yet he had also been a senior member of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. Moreover he was appointed by the much hated Hamid Karzai tasked with negotiating with the Taliban.

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