ANP, PkMAP leaders to attend Afghan jirga


Express May 23, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Political parties representing Pakhtun nationalists in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will attend a grand jirga Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to convene in Kabul later this month to seek a settlement with his rivals, including “reconcilable” Taliban.

The Awami National Party (ANP), the Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) and other nationalist groups have been invited to the jirga scheduled for May 29, according to officials in these parties. The jirga is seen as a first serious effort by the Karzai government to explore the possibility of a negotiated settlement to the Afghan conflict. But Washington has serious doubts about its outcome with President Barack Obama’s administration questioning the logic behind holding talks with those (Taliban) who want to destroy both Afghanistan and the US.

In a meeting with Karzai in Washington earlier this month, President Obama reportedly urged his Afghan counterpart to defer plans to hold direct talks with the Taliban at least until the withdrawal of US-led international forces from the country by mid 2011. Karzai during his visit to Islamabad earlier this year had agreed with the Pakistani leadership to revive the loya jirga process between the two countries to chalk out a joint strategy for reconciliation with the Taliban.

The loya jirga was first held in Kabul in 2007 but both Afghanistan and Pakistan could not follow up on the process. According to the agreed arrangements, Islamabad in Kabul would hold a mini-jirga after Karzai’s initiative before going to convene a loya jirga later. The Afghan jirga was initially planned for May 2 but was delayed due to Karzai’s four-day trip to Washington. The two-day jirga aims to discuss and finalise ways and means to open negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. Around 1,500 delegates from all over Afghanistan are expected to participate in the jirga including representatives of all militant factions, Afghan parliamentarians, intellectuals, tribal elders and politicians.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.

COMMENTS (2)

zainkasi | 11 years ago | Reply Yes,Baloch should be also invited in Afghan jirga yes baloch should also invited in Afghan jirga because south Pashtoonkhwa and balochistan is the part of Great Afghanistan
Karim Baloch | 11 years ago | Reply This is a good but incomplete move by Mr Karzai. Just as the honorable Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited the Pashtun nationalist parties of Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the grand jirga, so too must the leaders of Baluch nationalist parties be invited as the presence of Taliban in Quetta and threat of further Taliban encroachment on the Baluch in southern Nimruz and Qandahar (Afghanistan) and in Balochistan is a reality that must be addressed too. The Baluch can play a helpfull role in aiding their Afghan brothers to thwart the Taliban and ISI designs on Afghanistan and the export of religious extremism from Islamabad and its proxies on the hapless secular Baluch and Pashtun youth.
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