World asked to help convene Loya Jirga: Conference on Afghanistan
PESHAWAR, Aug 20: The Council for Understanding and National Unity of Afghanistan (CUNUA) has called upon the international community to help convene a meeting of the traditional Loya Jirga to form a national government in Afghanistan and bring an end to the internecine fighting in the war-ravaged country.
"Afghans believe that a national government in Afghanistan is imperative not only for her neighbours, the region and the world, but also for the Afghans themselves," the council said in a declaration adopted at a conference held here on Monday.
The conference was attended by elders and representatives from a cross-section of the Afghan society who held indepth discussions on the current situation in Afghanistan and ways and means to put an end to the civil war.
The conference was attended by more than 500 elders from various camps in the NWFP and the tribal areas. It was addressed by CUNUA president Haji Hayatullah, Afghan intellectual and director of Afghan Study Centre Prof Rasool Amin, United National Front's Shehzada Masud, Maulvi Abdul Qayoom Neknaam, Abdul Hussain Waez, Abdullah Ghamkhor, Abdul Ghaffar Shuja, Malik Zahir Khan Jabbar Khel, Commander Momin, Prof Yaqeen Yousafzai, Prof Ghulam Rang, Mohib Zahid, and others.
In his opening speech, Haji Hayatullah highlighted the objectives behind the holding of the conference which, he said, was aimed at evolving consensus among the Afghans on the future political settlement in their country. He said holding of the Loya Jirga was not only in accordance with Islamic teachings, but the institution was firmly rooted in the Afghan history and society.
He said by holding consultations, the Afghans could easily overcome their problems and could build consensus among themselves on the future setup in Afghanistan. He called upon the Afghan elders to sink their differences and play their role in bringing about reconciliation in Afghanistan that had been badly affected by war and bloodshed. Referring to the impact of the years long fighting and uncertainty in Afghanistan, Haji Hayatullah said it had not only resulted in the mindless killing of innocent people and destruction of the country, but also provided an opportunity to foreign countries to interfere in the affairs of Afghanistan.
He said any government imposed on Afghanistan by a foreign country would neither be in the interest of that country nor the region. It would also be unacceptable to the Afghans, he added. He asked the neighbouring countries to help the Afghans in the formation of a friendly government in Afghanistan, which would be acceptable to all.
He also called upon Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan to refrain from the forcible deportation of the Afghan refugees and imposition of restrictions on their movement. Prof Rasool Amin, in his speech, called for the restoration of the right to self-determination of the Afghan people. He said only then they could resolve their internal problems in accordance with their rich traditions.
He also called for an immediate end to foreign interference in Afghanistan. Other speakers supported the peace initiatives of former king Zahir Shah who, they said, could play a key role in bringing peace to the war-stricken Afghanistan.
They supported the holding of Loya Jirga and condemned foreign interference in Afghanistan. The declaration adopted on the occasion said peace, stability and development were necessary for the region and the formation of a friendly and not a puppet government in Afghanistan was the way to achieve that end.
It said only an Afghan government of their choice could pave the way for peace, development, reconstruction and national unity in Afghanistan and facilitate the repatriation of refugees to their homeland.
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