Ghani on peace: Prudence is important so we don’t repeat past mistakes

  • Date of Publication : 1/02/2019 at 15:38 GMT

As US and the Taliban have held several rounds of talks, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday reminded of historic betrayals and called for prudence.

In an address to the nation, Ghani highlighted previous settlements that ended in bloodshed.

“The mistake which was committed during Daud Khan rule should not get repeated, the mistake was that the then government was not aware of the region’s policy and this resulted in coup,” Ghani said.

“We are stressing on prudence because we are fully aware of what Dr. Najibullah experienced, we all know how he was deceived, the UN guaranteed that peace will be ensured, but unfortunately a disaster happened,” President Ghani says referring to a former president who was hanged by the Taliban.

Ghani said that he wanted peace quickly, but with prudence. “Prudence is important so we do not repeat past mistakes.”

The president said that he was aware of possible risks and threats following peace agreement.

“As an elected leader of 35 million Afghans, I am aware of the role of the region and the world, and I also know what are the possible risks and threats after peace agreement,” Ghani said.

Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Monday that he agreed with the Taliban in principle to the framework of a peace deal in which the insurgents guarantee to prevent Afghan territory from being used by terrorists, and that could lead to a full pullout of S troops in return to a ceasefire and Taliban talks with the Afghan government.

“We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement,” the American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview with The New York Times in Kabul after six days of talks with the Taliban in Qatar. “The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”

“We felt enough confidence that we said we need to get this fleshed out, and details need to be worked out,” he added.

The Taliban have so far refused to enter into talks with the Afghan government.

President Ghani on Monday repeated call on the group to negotiate with the Afghan government.

“The victims of war are Afghans, so the peace initiative should be owned by Afghans,” Ghani said.

He said that people’s rights will not be compromised in talks with the group. On Taliban demand for withdrawal of foreign troops, Ghani said the troops are currently present in the country out of necessity and that no Afghan would want their long-term presence.

“We will try to bring the number of foreign troops to zero based on an orderly plan,” he said.