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2020-09-01 › Karzai Supports Abdullah’s Stance on Council Structure

Former president Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said he welcomes Abdullah Abdullah’s stance on selecting the members of the High Council for National Reconciliation after consultation with political leaders, elders and civil society organizations.

Karzai on Sunday rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s decree making him--Karzai--a member of the High Council for National Reconciliation, saying he will not be part of any government structure, but vowed his support and efforts for the peace process as a citizen.

Karzai said in a statement that the selection of members of the council through consultation is effective for the peace process. 

“The former president is always pushing for the talks to start, and the peace process is expected. He has always thought about strengthening national unity. Consultation is in favor of the people,” said Shahzada Massoud, a former presidential adviser.  

Other politicians said the list announced by the Presidential Palace requires some changes because some political figures, elders and youth should be added to it. 

“If there isn’t a change (on the list) and there will be the same figures who were against the Taliban their whole lives and fought against the Taliban, I think we will not want these individuals to be there again,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan. 

“There are internal and international pressures on the Presidential Palace. Foreigners at the moment do not have the will for peace but are looking after their short-term interests,” said Khan Kabuli, an analyst. 

On Monday, Abdullah stated his opposition to President Ashraf Ghani’s list of council members, saying that according to the political agreement it is the authority of the head of the council to appoint its members. 

Abdullah quoted the agreement signed in May, saying: “The head of the High Council of National Reconciliation forms the council in consultation with the president, sides and political leaders, speakers of the houses of parliament, the civil society and elites of the country.”  

Therefore, Abdullah said, there is no need for a presidential decree on the formation of the council, and the selection of members falls under the authority of the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation. 

Ghani in a decree on Sunday appointed 46 members for the High Council for National Reconciliation, including high-ranking government officials, prominent politicians, women and former mujahideen leaders.  

The move, however, faced a backlash from some whose names were on the list, and by others for being left off the list. 

Politicians, such as former president Hamid Karzai, former foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar rejected their membership in the council.

Political and National Figures as Members

The members of the council announced in the decree are former president Hamid Karzai, former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, former vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili, former deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, former foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani, former mujahideen leader and former minister of energy and water Mohammad Ismalil Khan, former Balkh governor and CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami Atta Mohammad Noor, head of Maaz-e-Milli party Sayed Hamid Gailani, political figure Zabihullah Mujaddedi, political and religious figure Sayed Mansoor Nadery, political and religious figure Enayatullah Shahrani, former deputy chief executive and political figure Engineer Mohammad Khan, head of Afghanistan’s Ulema Council, former head of the Administrative Office of the President Sadiq Modabir, Mohammad Ismail Ghazanfar and Mawlawi Khodaidad Saleh.

High-Ranking Officials as Members 

According to the decree, members of the council from the government are First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, Meshrano Jirga Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, Wolesi Jirga Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani, presidential adviser Almas Zahid, state minister for peace affairs (that has not been appointed so far) and presidential adviser Mawlawi Jora Tahiri.

Women Members

Women members of the council are civil society activist Safia Sediqqi, former MP Najiba Ayubi, a member of the Afghan Women’s Network, Mari Akrami, civil society activist Zia Gul Rezaee, a member of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission Alia Yulmaz, former higher education minister Farida Mohmand, chairperson of medical council of Afghanistan Nasrin Oryakhil and civil society activist Zarqa Yaftali.  

Leadership Members

According to the decree, the leadership members of the council are Abdullah Abdullah, Abdul Salam Rahimi, Enayatullah Farahmand, Asadullah Saadati, Zuhra Mutahari, Atta-Ur-Rahman Salim, Haji Din Mohammad, Akram Khpulwak, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, and Noor-Ul-Haq Olumi. 

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