By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Former President Hamid Karzai has called on government and the Taliban to take the peace talks initiative out of “foreign project” mode and turn it into an accelerated national necessity. He said the peace talks process has so far failed and noted it has been a foreign initiative. Addressing an event on Monday entitled “Kabul Peace Symposium” organized by the Nation Party of Afghanistan, Karzai said: “Turn peace into a national process.” “Build from ourselves and on our soil. Encourage the Taliban and our government to go to Bamyan for peace talks. We have good hotels [in the province] and the weather is good and there is no need for air conditioning.” Karzai said the Afghan people have been pitted against each other and that peace talks should be concluded as soon as possible. Karzai also named a few other provinces, which he said could serve as a venue for talks. He called on all parties to make the peace process a “national” initiative – an Afghan process. Karzai also said that should the peace process be transformed and no longer be a “project”, negotiations could take place a lot quicker and conclusions reached sooner. He also said once peace has been achieved, Afghanistan will be able to tackle issues with neighbors and the international community with a lot more determination and independence.
Karzai noted that often wars ended after a short period of intense negotiations. On this note he said Afghanistan’s peace talks should be wrapped up within a month, or less, of starting. Other speakers at the meeting, including Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former national security adviser, agreed and said the peace process needs to be “nationalized”.