Militants could be invited to Afghan "Jirga"

Militants could be invited to Afghan "Jirga"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai could invite militants to attend a "Loya Jirga," or grand council meeting, aiming to seek peace and reconciliation with the Taliban, a spokesman said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The plans signal a more public effort to engage with militants during Karzai's second term as leader, measures that Washington has encouraged in its counter-insurgency strategy.

Afghanistan's constitution recognizes the Loya Jirga -- Pashtu for grand assembly -- as "the highest manifestation of the will of the people of Afghanistan."

Karzai announced plans for a Loya Jirga in his inauguration speech last week, describing it as a measure to promote peace but giving few details.

Under the Afghan constitution, a Loya Jirga made up of parliamentarians and chiefs of district and provincial councils can amend the constitution, impeach the president and "decide on issues related to independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity as well as supreme national interests."

The rare, colorful mass gatherings of elders have played crucial roles over the course of Afghan history.

Two have been held since the fall of the Taliban in 2001: one that named Karzai interim leader and a second that adopted the constitution. A third gathering of tribal chiefs from both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan frontier, was held in Kabul in 2007 to smooth over relations between the two countries.

The giant marquee tent where those assemblies were held is still standing in a Kabul field.

Hamid Elmi, a spokesman for Karzai, said the assembly envisioned by the president would not be the "Constitutional Loya Jirga" described formally under Afghan law but a "Traditional Loya Jirga," which could have a different make-up of notables.

"The meaning of the traditional Loya Jirga is how to bring about peace and how to invite the Taliban and opposition in Afghanistan," he said. "They are not coming to talk about the cabinet and the administration. They are coming to bring security and peace."

TWO OPTIONS

Elmi said the government was looking at two options: either calling a Loya Jirga at which militants would not be present but a broad spectrum of Afghans would debate how to reconcile with them, or actually inviting some militants to participate.

A decision on who would attend would not be reached until after the date is determined, he said. The onset of winter makes it difficult to hold the jirga soon, but Karzai would like to hold it before parliamentary elections in June, he said.

Karzai's government has said in the past year that it is reaching out to some members of the Taliban, with Saudi Arabia acting as a mediator. Taliban leaders say they will not negotiate with Karzai as long as Western troops remain in the country.

Hamidullah Tarzi, a former finance minister and one of many Afghan politicians who called earlier this year for a Loya Jirga to select a president as an alternative to a dubious war-time election, said the purpose of holding one was no longer clear.

"It's an interesting idea, but he should have done it before the election. It would have been very effective. Now that he is the sitting president, it's a different situation," Tarzi said.

Karzai's recent election foe, ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, also responded cautiously, saying the formal Loya Jirga described in the constitution could not yet be held because the district officials who would attend it have not yet been elected.

Karzai would have to spell out the aims if he wants support, Abdullah told Reuters.

"It will depend: what's the purpose of that Loya Jirga? What will be achieved in that Loya Jirga? These are big questions."

Submarine cable to connect electrical networks of Georgia, Europe to be additional direct channel for telecommunication traffic
Submarine cable to connect electrical networks of Georgia, Europe to be additional direct channel for telecommunication traffic
New transmission line to provide opportunities for both Georgia’s and EU energy network - expert
New transmission line to provide opportunities for both Georgia’s and EU energy network - expert
Georgia reports 506 new coronavirus cases for April 10
Georgia reports 506 new coronavirus cases for April 10
Loading Bars
Latest
Submarine cable to connect electrical networks of Georgia, Europe to be additional direct channel for telecommunication traffic
IMF, World Bank urged to contain pandemic with fair, efficient distribution of vaccines
South Korean battery makers agree last-minute deal in boost to Biden's EV policy
Egypt, Sudan reject Ethiopian proposal for data sharing on Renaissance dam
Bezos, Musk top Forbes' record-setting billionaire list
Turkey registers more than 52 600 new coronavirus cases
China-Brunei trade grows by over 70 pct in 2020
Argentina's economy minister heads to Europe to woo finance officials over debts
US boosts imports of Turkish-made clothes
Turkey sends off 2nd boron export train to China
First kidney transplant performed in Turkmenistan
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall in Iran
Iran unveils data of gasoline and petrochemicals exports
New transmission line to provide opportunities for both Georgia’s and EU energy network - expert
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
China fines Alibaba record $2.75 billion for anti-monopoly violations
Italy reports 344 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 17,567 new cases
Azercell’s “Kabinetim” mobile app exceeded 1 million downloads
Pakistani FM to visit Tehran
Funeral for UK's Prince Philip to be held on April 17
Pinterest becomes latest platform to appoint Turkey representative
Italy's economy seen growing 4.1% this year
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Bandar Lengeh port announced
Turkmenistan’s growth of trade turnover in 1Q2021 announced
Turkish electrical goods' 1Q2021 export to Uzbekistan spikes
Azerbaijani president's assistant talks Turkic Council media co-op's systematization
Hungary considers Turkic Council member states important partners
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 11
Uzbekistan ready to actively partake in restoring Azerbaijan's liberated territories
Azerbaijan confirms 2,192 more COVID-19 cases, 1,554 recoveries
Turkey did its best in media coverage of Azerbaijan's Patriotic war - presidential administration
Azerbaijani president's assistant meets with Turkic Council's secretary-general
Briefing of Turkic Council's high-ranking media officials held in Baku (VIDEO)
Anti-Turkic campaigns periodically carried out - Azerbaijani president's assistant
Azerbaijan's victory in Second Karabakh War is victory for entire Turkic world - top official
Azerbaijan working to develop ties between Turkic states - president's assistant
Turkic Council developing roadmap for better co-op with Turkic-speaking countries
Turkic-speaking countries to continue to support Azerbaijan - Turkic Council
Armenia's refusal to provide maps of mines on Azerbaijan's lands is concerning - ambassador
Turkic Council's meeting held in Baku (PHOTO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 10
Kazakh, Uzbek PMs launch construction of new 'Central Asia' int'l co-op center
Turkish Ambassador: I've never separated Azerbaijan and Turkey, both are homeland to me
Buta Airways to Start Operating Flights to Zhukovsky Airport
Turkey's support for Azerbaijan in Karabakh war will always be in our memory - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan's MoD organizes visit for foreign military attaches to Air Force military unit
Turkish-Azerbaijani fraternal relations are at highest level today - President Aliyev
Iran's exports via Jolfa border checkpoint increase
Georgia reports 506 new coronavirus cases for April 10
SOCAR's capex to moderate due to SGC, STAR refinery’s commissioning
Certain licenses issued to setting up enterprises in Iran's Markazi Province
Turkey unveils 2M2021 data on freight, passenger traffic through Ankara Esenboga Airport
Azerbaijani oil prices up
Fitch Affirms SOCAR at 'BB+'
Turkmenistan's state budget revenues surpass initial forecast
Georgian TBC Leasing's secured debt rating equalizes with its Long-Term IDR
Azerbaijani president awards former Turkish ambassador with 'Dostlug' order
President Ilham Aliyev receives Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan's GDP grows in 1Q2021
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Iranian currency rates for April 10
Azerbaijan has favorable investment climate - Turkish MUSIAD
Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency continues to clear Gubadly, Zangilan, Jabrayil from mines
India reports a record 145,384 COVID-19 infections
Armenia set up booby traps on Azerbaijan's de-occupied lands - Mine Action Agency
Azerbaijan's rhythmic gymnasts 2-nd in online tournament organized by Finnish Gymnastics Federation
Azerbaijani gymnastics team captures silver in Egypt (PHOTO)
China's top market regulator imposes penalty on Alibaba Group over monopoly conduct
Iran's Isfahan producing 2,100 tons of medicinal herbs
Japanese entrepreneurs intend to increase imports of Kyrgyz honey
Austrian companies eye contribution to Georgian ports' expansion - ministry
Turkey reports 55,791 new COVID-19 cases
Germany to amend law for nationwide COVID-19 response
World Bank says Azerbaijan's consumer market to grow till 2023
Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine under EU review over blood clots
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 718,000 in past day, says WHO
Poland's COVID-19 cases top 2.5 mln
Georgian-Lithuanian co-op facilitates freight transport between China, Europe - Ministry
US accelerator to provide Azerbaijani startup project with big investments
Eurowings to start flights from Dusseldorf to Georgia
NASA's Mars helicopter to attempt first flight
Health Minister hails vaccination in driving down COVID-19 severity in Turkey
Saudi-led coalition intercepts bomb-laden drone towards border city
Azerbaijani president expresses condolences to PM of UK
UN interested in intensifying ties with Azerbaijan - President of General Assembly
Azerbaijani FM, Sec-Gen of Turkic Council discuss issues of mutual interest (PHOTO)
"Georgia Capital" investment company to sell part of its business
Iran's only option on negotiation table - US lifting sanction - Iran’s ambassador to IAEA
Turkmen Helath Ministry opens tender for purchase of medical supplies
South Korean PM to visit Iran for Seoul-Tehran Cooperation
Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament meets with president of 75th session of UN General Assembly (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president expresses condolences to Queen Elizabeth II
Azerbaijan clearing territory for new settlement of mines in Zangilan district
Azerbaijan aims developing use of wind energy
Russian, Turkish presidents call for restoration of transport infrastructure of South Caucasus
Azerbaijan actively participates in implementation of int’l projects within BTK and North-South corridors
State Oil Company of Azerbaijan digitizes information on oil and gas wells in corporate database
Azerbaijani, Turkish armies Joint Operational-Tactical Exercises end (PHOTO/VIDEO)
International Bank of Azerbaijan opens tender to buy network equipment
Russia always ready for settlement option supported by sides of Karabakh conflict - Foreign Ministry
All news