The scheduled meeting of the newly-established Reconciliation Leadership Council was delayed due to “serious political disagreements” between the Afghan government and the politicians as sources described.
The meeting was scheduled for Saturday, April 13, to finalize the delegation for the upcoming intra-Afghan meeting in Qatar scheduled for April 19. Officials said on Saturday that the working groups of the council are working on certain matters including the formation of the Qatar delegation.
Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who refused to attend the Reconciliation Council’s second meeting on April 10, said in an interview with TOLOnews that government is seeking to include its favorites in the Qatar delegation.
“Government should not try to form a delegation without any authority or a delegation which is under its dominance,” Hekmatyar said. “And also, no one should lead the council who believes in war.”
Some critics said government is opposing the participation of its political rivals in the Qatar meeting.
“Government appoints those on the list who work in the government, but we the politicians suggest that there is a need for an Afghan delegation which could represent entire Afghanistan,” said Ahmadullah Alizai, former governor of Kabul.
A spokesman for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s Office, Fraidoon Khozoon, said the disagreements between government and politicians will be ended in the near future.
“Efforts are underway and we hope that all issues are resolved in the next meeting of Reconciliation Leadership Council,” Khozoon said.
The Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan, a political alliance formed in July 2017, which is consisting of 22 political parties, has also confirmed the disagreements over the selection of the Qatar delegation members.
“Some individuals are trying to have their favorites in (the delegation), not a national and Afghanistan-inclusive team,” said Shah Mahmoud Popal, head of the coalition.
Qatar meeting was scheduled after the Afghan prominent politicians met Taliban in Moscow in February in which the Afghan government did not attend.
President Ghani’s Special Envoy and spokesman of the Reconciliation Council, Umer Daudzai, who briefed media on peace Jirga at a press conference in Kabul on Saturday, April 13, said that one of the disagreements is about the number of the delegates.
“One of the disagreements is the number of delegates who will travel to Qatar. On Wednesday meeting of the Reconciliation Leadership Council, an agreement was reached in this regard. Some members of the council were suggesting that a small number of delegates will attend the (Qatar) meeting,” said Daudzai.