Support the Proposals of the Afghanistan Peace Jirga!
From June 2nd to June 4th 2010, over 1,600 delegates from all regions and social groups in Afghanistan assembled in the first National Consultative Peace Jirga (Loya Jirga) to discuss the reconciliation process.
The resolution that emerged is a document of hope and wisdom.
Afghanistan needs a new approach to reconciliation, and a new double strategy of power and reconciliation that includes both soft and hard factors for stability.
The World Security Network Foundation was one of the first promoters of this new political approach, and has called for talks with the Taliban and focus on these two pillars of peacemaking in several newsletters (see Hubertus Hoffmann: Afghanistan: Negotiations with the Taliban as the Path to Peace and Afghanistan & Pakistan: A new and comprehensive NATO Double-Track Decision is needed).
The Loya Jirga calls for several things:
To act and comply by the teachings of Islam and respect the aspiration of the people of Afghanistan for lasting peace and ending war and fratricide through understanding and negotiations. The peace and reconciliation initiative shall be for and among Afghans only and does not include in anyway foreign extremist elements and international terrorist networks.
No peace efforts should question the achievements made so far or their legal values, and should not lead to a new crisis in the country.
As a gesture of a goodwill, to take immediate and solid action in freeing from various prisons those detained based on inaccurate information or unsubstantiated allegations;
The government, in agreement with the international community, should take serious action in getting the names of those in opposition removed from the consolidated blacklist. The government and the international forces should guarantee protection and safety for those who join the peace process and should provide for a safe return of those in armed opposition;
The disaffected in armed opposition should renounce violence and all other activities that result in killing our people and destroying the infrastructure, and should dissociate themselves from al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups;
The international community expedite the process of equipping, training and strengthening Afghan national security forces, so they can acquire the capability to take responsibility for providing security for their own country and people;
The representatives want and urge a long-term international commitment, so Afghanistan does not become again a playground for regional conflicts, and that external interferences can be averted and thus space for stronger regional cooperation can be provided;
They call on the international community to support the peace process led by the government of Afghanistan;
The government, with public support, should take every necessary step to deliver good governance, make sure appointments are made on the basis of merit, and fight administrative and moral corruption as well as illegal property possession at both national and provincial level. This will boost public confidence in the government and the chances for a successful peace process;
The people of Afghanistan demand a just peace which can guarantee the rights of its all citizens including women and children. For the purpose of social justice, the Jirga urges that laws be applied equally to all citizens of the country;
A High Peace Council or Commission should be created to follow up on the recommendations made by the Jirga and the Peace Process. The Commission shall form a special committee to handle the issues related to the release and return to normal life of prisoners.
- The government and the international forces should guarantee protection and safety for those who join the peace process and should provide for a safe return of those in armed opposition
The West and the Muslim world, including Pakistan, should support this effort because it is a good first step towards peace.
Peace negotiations should start in Saudi Arabia with those Taliban elements who want to join. Others, like those firing grenades at the assembly, will stay out for now.
NATO must plan these negotiations as an integrated part of its overall strategy for Afghanistan, supplementing its military campaign.
Until now the U.S. plan has been lacking this element.
They should not wait for a successful military operation but act immediately in the framework of a new NATO double strategy of power and reconciliation that includes both soft and hard factors.