Following the decision by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah regarding his refusal to attend the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace, more politicians and heads of some political movements on Monday announced that they will not attend the meeting.
Abdullah, who also leads the Stability and Partnership election ticket for the upcoming presidential elections, said in a statement on Sunday that he will not attend the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace.
The Jirga is scheduled for April 29, where almost 2,500 delegates will attend to decide on the future of the peace talks in Afghanistan.
“We in the Stability and Partnership team have not been involved in any consultation (on the Jirga) neither at political parties and individual levels nor at the government level,” says the statement which was issued on behalf of Stability and Partnership election ticket led by Abdullah.
Meanwhile, other presidential candidates including Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Ahmad Wali Massoud and Rahmatullah Nabil also said that they have decided boycott the peace Jirga.
The three candidates alleged that the peace Jirga has got a political purpose and that the Jirga will not help to find a settlement to the ongoing conflict in the country.
Another candidate Noor-ul-Haq Ulomi described the Jirga a political game.
“Alongisde other political parties and those groups inside the election ticket, our consultations led to the decision that we cannot attend the Jirga at this critical stage,” said Qader Shah, a spokesman for Atmar.
“So far they have spent nearly AFs360 million for this Jirga. It looks like a bribe to the people to come and gather so that the government can demonstrate its power,” said Ahmad Wali Massoud, head of Wefaq-e-Milli election ticket.
“I don’t believe the outcomes of the Jira will be appropriate except division and disintegration in the society, but not unity and solidarity among entire people of Afghanistan to determine their future,” said Ulomi.
But the High Peace Council (HPC) said that the Jirga will be convened on the scheduled time.
Hizb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has also been one of the key critics of the modality of selection of Jirga members. However, it has not officially announced its stance on the issue.