Update Afghan Reconciliation Process
Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Afghanistan, in an interaction with the media after his visit to Pakistan indicated that Afghan government delegation and Taliban negotiating team have managed to partly solve differences over the Jaafari-Hanafi religious jurisprudence.
The Taliban were insisting that the Hanafi (Sunni Muslim) jurisprudence would be the main source while rejecting Jaafari (Shiite Muslims) jurisprudence
The Taliban’s recommendation was not acceptable to the Afghan government as Shiite Muslims make up 20 per cent of Afghanistan’s population and thus their jurisprudence required proportionate representation.
The Taliban as per AssadullahSaadati, deputy chairman of the reconciliation council have accepted the logical arguments that have been made by the government delegation.
Abdullah stated that Pakistan civil and military authorities were willing to support the cease fire.
“In our own discussions with all authorities, I found nobody having any doubt on that need,” he said, referring to meetings with the Pakistani prime minister, army chief, foreign minister and other leaders.
“They (Pakistan) promised that they will also try their own way … use their positive influence in that regard.”“If they (Taliban) are too sensitive to the idea of ceasefire, there are lots of ways to reduce violence. Humanitarian cease-fire, significant reduction in violence leading to a cease-fire, is something that we need to start with,” Abdullah added “Why make this (Doha Agreement) such an issue that we have remained stuck in it?” Abdullah asked.
“Our team has been advised and instructed to be flexible.” “If Taliban do not get more serious and do not show flexibility, that will affect the attitude of our team as well automatically, and then we might get to another impasse,” Abdullah warned, saying it was a “big concern” that the international community would lose interest in the peace process if the stalemate with the Taliban over the talks’ agenda was not resolved quickly.
Meanwhile Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, on October 1, met with the Taliban deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar and their chief negotiator Mawlawi Abdul Hakim in Doha amidst delay in the start of the direct negotiations between both sides of the talks. There were some demands for a negotiator for the talks.
Dr Abdullah said government team was open to engaging a mediator or a facilitator to break the current impasse, if the Taliban agreed to it. “If it is needed that facilitators can help at one stage, we should quickly move without wasting time,” he said