By: Lailuma Noori
After appointment of Abdul Salam Rahimi as state minister for peace affairs, Presidential Office said that from now on all peace-related issues would be followed by the state ministry for peace affairs.
According to Shah Hussain Murtazavi, deputy spokesperson to President, work on modality of brining reforms within High Peace Council is underway based on suggestion of Peace Consultative Jirga.
“As you know, bringing reforms in HPC has been stressed and suggested in Peace Consultative Jirga. The reforms will be brought, but it is too early to talk about the reforms. Currently, all key and principal parts of peace program will be followed by the state ministry for peace affairs,” Murtazavi added.
Based on a new decree of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Abdul Salam Rahimi, former chief of staff of the office of the country’s President was appointed as state minister for peace affairs.
In a statement issued by the Presidential Office, said that the country’s President has approved the appointment of Salam Rahimi in accordance to article 64 and item 64 of the constitution.
Rahimi will participate in cabinet meetings, National Security Council meetings, meetings of the high commissions and high councils, according to the statement.
High Peace Council (HPC) was created nearly nine years ago based on suggestion of 1600 representatives of people in a Peace Consultative Jirga. The council has more than 60 members who are mostly former jihadi leaders, religious ulamas, former jihadi commanders and tribal elders.
But, critics have increased in the past few years, saying that the council with its increased members have not had any considerable achievements since it was created nine years back.
According to a leading member of the council Mohammad Amin Waqad, the council has not held any meetings during the past eight months.
“High Peace Council (HPC) has not held any meetings for the past eight months – it is quiet and looks as it has been suspended. It will be soon clarified that the council is needed or not,” Waqad said.
A number of Afghan experts believe if peace-related issues are followed by both HPC and the new state ministry for peace affairs, they will have no achievements. They say there should be differentiations between works of both institutions.
“Peace affairs should be followed by High Peace Council, but after peace agreement with the Taliban group, executive affairs of peace and implementation of the agreement should be followed by the state ministry for peace affairs,” said Khalid Sadat, an Afghan political expert.
According to Afghan political experts, High Peace Council had not been able to work effectively for the past nine years as there have been weaknesses and shortcomings in works of the council.
Currently, the seventh round of direct talks are underway between US delegation led by Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban negotiators in Doha, capital city of Qatar to end the ongoing war in the country.
For breaking the current deadlock ahead of peace and reconciliation, the government of Afghanistan needs to create national and international consensus for bringing peace to the country as peace is the desire of all Afghans, who have suffered the continued war for the past 40 years.