Genuine Efforts for a National Consensus; Passing the Danger and Using the Opportunity

In a statement issued on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in the presence of a number of politicians and speakers of both houses of parliament, President Ghani spoke about the opportunity for peace and the need for political consensus. In the statement, he called on the Taliban to discuss the abnormalities with the Republic and the Emirate in Afghanistan in the Loya Jirga. He also referred to the Eid statement by the Taliban leader Mullah Hebatullah, saying that the Taliban should not demand that the Afghan people surrender and that the government did not make such a request to the Taliban. Rather, the government calls for continued discussion on the opportunity for peace.

The president also emphasized political consensus in the statement, telling the Taliban that he would see the presence of all political factions and movements centered on peace and the defense of the current order. In the statement, he thanked former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of the High Council for National Reconciliation, for their efforts to build a political consensus.

The Afghan people and political groups urged the president to work sincerely to reach a political consensus among influential groups as foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Any attempt to divide the political forces in the current situation is not in the interest of the people and the country. Accordingly, in the last week, President Ghani, through the mediation of Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and a number of other influential Afghan politicians, has begun meeting with Afghan political leaders.

On the first day of Eid, the president met with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar through the mediation of Hamid Karzai. The meeting could be seen as an attempt to clear the political freeze between Afghanistan’s political leaders.

It is also reported that the president has held talks with Hamid Karzai, Rasul Sayaf and Abdullah Abdullah to form the High Council of the Government. In these meetings, the work of the members of this Council was discussed.

These efforts show that President Ghani, who had decided unilaterally on many issues after the formation of the new coalition government, would involve his political ally in important decisions and, as the Secretary of State mentioned in his famous letter, to consult with Hamid Karzai, Rasul Sayyaf and Abdullah Abdullah on major matters of Afghanistan.

According to a political agreement signed at the beginning of the government between President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the High Council of the Government was to be formed, and the council, whose purpose is called the National Consensus, was to advise the President on important national issues.

The President of Afghanistan has prevented the establishment of this Council since the beginning of the new government. In addition, many clauses of the agreement were not implemented, which prevented the new government from gaining the necessary political support among the Afghan people.

Since the beginning of the new government, the gap between the two political allies of the government has widened. The gap was so wide that Abdullah was not consulted in recent dismissals in a number of ministries, raising concerns about the government’s politically fragile state.

Realizing this fact, President Ghani has begun efforts to build a political consensus in accordance with the political agreement.

Political consensus is something that both the world and the Afghan people expect the government to implement in the current critical situation.

It is hoped that President Ghani will take an honest step in this direction this time and will not risk further political divisions within the republic in the current sensitive situation. Because every ill-considered step and every arbitrary decision in the current situation will have bad consequences for the people and the country.

The President of Afghanistan, as he emphasized in his statement, must abandon his tactical view of politics in the current situation and, as a responsible president, involve all the people of Afghanistan in major and crucial decisions of the country.

Any tactical and exploitative move in the current sensitive situation can seriously damage people’s trust and endanger people’s future.

All attempts to monopolize power and unilateral decisions in recent years have only resulted in greater distance from the people. Lessons must be learned from past failed experiences.