News - Afghanistan
The High Peace Council expressed readiness to negotiate with any opposition group, including the notorious Haqqani Network, which was recently put on a UN blacklist.
The High Peace Council Foreign Relations Advisor Mohammad Ismail Qasemyar told TOLOnews that any opposition group that accepts the Constitution and cuts their ties with Al-Qaeda is welcome in the peace process.
"Peace is a national process, and any group that quits fighting with the Afghan government, cuts ties with Al-Qaeda network and accepts the Afghan Constitution are welcome for peace negotiations...including Haqqani network," Qasemyar said.
Afghan Lawmakers, however, slammed the peace overture.
"If they [Haqqani network] have called for peace talks, it's a good move. But if it's a government call, it's nonsense," Herat MP Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi said.
Afghan analysts believe that negotiating with the Haqqanis could be beneficial if they are honest.
"If they really want to end the Afghan war, then peace talks with the Haqqani Network are also beneficial," Afghan political analyst Ahmad Idrees Rahmani said.
The Haqqani Network, among the most lethal terrorist groups involved in the insurgency, launches attacks on US and Afghan targets from their sanctuary in Pakistan. Outgoing American General Mike Mullen recently called them the "veritable arm of the ISI" for their allegedly close association.
The Haqqanis claim they will defer to the decision of Mullah Omar regarding the peace process and have stressed they will continue fighting until a settlement.
The Haqqani network is involved in most of the deadly and coordinated attacks in Afghanistan, including the attacks on the US embassy in Kabul and Isaf headquarters earlier this year.