The draft peace plan prepared by Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) will divide the Republic camp, says Afghanistan’s second vice president, Sarwar Danish as quoted by a statement issued by his press office today, Tuesday, April 13.

Instate of strengthening a consensus in the Republic camp, a term used for those groups, individuals, and political factions that support the stance to be taken by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in talks with the Taliban, the draft peace proposal prepared by the HCNR will fuel the differences in the Republic camp, the statement said.

The statement by Afghanistan’s second vice president is made while the country is preparing to hold decisive power-sharing talks with the Taliban. The coming intra-Afghan talks to be hosted by Turkey is tentatively scheduled to take place on April 16, but a Taliban spokesperson has said in a tweet that the group would not be able to attend the talks on April 16.

VP Danish has objected to the draft peace proposal, claiming that the HCNR has snubbed the peace proposal submitted by the government and endorsed by President Ghani. Earlier last week, President Ghani proposed a three-phased peace proposal in which he envisaged a new power-sharing setup titled as the government of peace or the transitional government of peace. Danish says that the HCNR in its peace proposal has ‘deliberately’ tried to bypass the proposal made by President Ghani.

“The draft peace plan prepared by the HCNC indeed represents the viewpoint of one political party,” VP Danish says as explaining that a parliamentary political setup is a kind of system demanded by a political group in Afghanistan.

An ethnically diverse country, Afghanistan is ruled by a centralized political system with the president having the highest authority to run the country. Many who advocate for a more flexible political setup say a parliamentary system is the best kind of political system that suits Afghanistan when it comes to a power-sharing mechanism between the central government and local administrations.

But those who oppose the idea of a parliamentary system fear that a parliamentary setup might lead to further undermining a centralized strong president who is tasked to run the country single-handedly, something that has seen as one of the main problems ahead of governance by the critics of presidential political setup.

VP Danish, who is a close ally of President Ghani and an ethnic Hazara, has said the proposed peace plan by Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation sidelines Afghanistan’s Hazaras, Uzbeks, Baluchs, and other ethnic identities from the power arena and shares the power between the two ethnic groups, with first, supposedly a Pashtun taking the presidency and the second, a Tajik securing the office of the prime minister.

“[We] should respect the national interest and the views hold by other movements, and any model [we propose for future political setup] should be founded on the basis of the reality of the Afghan society,” he said.

A couple of weeks ago, Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation said it had tasked a committee to study dozens of peace proposals submitted by various political factions to unify a single peace proposal for the coming talks in Turkey. Faraidon Khozon, a spokesperson for the HCNR, earlier had told the media that the draft peace proposal would be shared with the leadership of the High Council for National Reconciliation and after the approval by the leadership of HCNR it would be presented to the coming Istanbul meeting.

 

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