On the second day of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace, a number of delegates criticized the organizers for restrictions on the coverage of the gathering where almost 3,200 representatives from across the country have gathered to decide on the future of the peace process.
The media outlets have been given the permission to enter the Jirga’s hall for one hour in separate groups but they cannot report from within the hall, the delegates and some reporters said.
“The free media should be given the chance to show to the people what is going on inside the Jirga,” said Noor Shah Noorani, a delegate.
“Afghans want to know what is going on in the Jirga, what is being discussed and what the overall goal is. It should be passed on to the people by the media,” said Fatima Hamnawa, a delegate from journalists.
Meanwhile, the deputy head of the Peace Jirga’s organizing committee, Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail, said the delegates elected the heads and deputy heads of the 51 committees.
He added that the committees will hold discussions on main topics, including how to end the war, how to ensure stability in the country, how to convince the Taliban to attend talks with the Afghan government and how to retain the achievements of Afghanistan.
Other delegates, however, said heads of a number of committees were not elected based on elections and that they were appointed through an “engineered” process.
“The heads of the committees are those who have ties with the government and their appointment was decided in advance,” said Nazir Kabiri, a delegate.
“In our committee, voting did not happen. They brought a person and appointed him as head of the committee without any voting. I was a candidate and some members were supporting me,
but they brought another one and he becomes the chief,” Sediq Lalzada, a delegate said.
Sources told TOLOnews that the delegates elected Habiba Sarabi, Najia Munira Akhundzada, Arif Noori, Mohammad Afzal Hadid, and Kamal Safi as deputies of the peace Jirga which is headed by former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf.