President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday announced a 12- member negotiating team for talks with the Taliban as part of the efforts to end the 17 years of war in the country.


President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday announced a 12- member negotiating team for talks with the Taliban as part of the efforts to end the 17 years of war in the country.
According to M. Ashraf Ghani, to ensure consensus and to provide direction to the negotiating team, diverse groups of individuals will comprise a new peace advisory board to provide timely advice on critical issues during peace negotiations.
Shah Hussain Mortazvi, the deputy spokesman of the president said the list is subject to change and addition.
The 12-members of the negotiating team:
• The presidential chief of staff Abdul Salam Rahimi
• Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi, Minister of Education
• Hasina Safi, Minister of Information and Culture
• Abdul Tawab Balakarzai, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
• Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation
• General Ebadullah Ebad, Deputy of National Directorate of Security
• Shahgul Rezaee, Member of Wolesi Jirga
• Attaullah Ludin, Member of Ulema Council
• Shamim Katawazai, governor of Paktia province
• Abdullah Attai, Member of Supreme Court
• Tooryali Ghiasi, Director of Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Abdul Hakim Muneeb, Deputy Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs

President Ghani also announced the new peace advisory board which is comprised of the following nine committees:
1. Political Leaders Committee
2. Political Parties Committee
3. Youth Affairs Committee
4. Women’s Affairs Committee
5. Ulema Committee
6. Provincial Leaders Committee
7. Civil Society and Cultural Committee
8. Private Sector Committee
9. Refugees and Diaspora Committee

In regard to the formation of the negotiating team and the advisory board committees for peace, it seems the government wants to somehow bypass the high peace council, seeking to create new canals for talks with armed oppositions of the government.
The advisory board should carry out the same works of what HPC was doing, and now these should be done by an advisory board that appears to be closer to the government.
Last Friday, when the preliminary list of the negotiating delegation was leaked to the media, some of its political movements considered them as non-national.


News Id: E12350