A Consultative Peace Jirga was held in Kabul on August 7th-9th to discuss the way forward in the Afghan peace process and reach a decision regarding the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners, who have been implicated in serious crimes, and other various issues on the peace process.
More than 3,000 representatives from across the country and from different segments of society, including senior officials, representatives of the civil society, members of the parliament and women and youth groups took part in the Jirga.
The national gathering recommended the release the last 400 Taliban prisoners as the final obstacle for the immediate start of direct peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, aimed at achieving a lasting, dignified and inclusive peace in the country.
The release of the remaining Taliban prisoners was deemed conditional on them not returning to the battlefield. The Jirga demanded the Taliban guarantee this point, and to respond by starting direct negotiations on an immediate basis and enforcing a reduction of violence, leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
The Jirga called on the support of the international community, first and foremost to ensure the preservation and continuity of the Islamic Republic, its Constitution and its fundamental democratic values. They requested the international community to ensure that the Taliban meet the demands mentioned above and to help secure the desired end-result that meets the aspirations and expectations of the people of Afghanistan, such as preserving the foundational gains and achievements made possible by the joint efforts and sacrifices of the all Afghans and the international community.
The link to the English text of President Ghani’s remarks at the closing session of the Consultative Peace Jirga can be found below: