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Troop surge to prolong Afghanistan conflict: ASC

Troop surge to prolong Afghanistan conflict: ASC

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On
May 18, 2017 - 16:58

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Afghanistaninfo-icon Salvation Council (ASC) on Thursday said sending more foreign troops to Afghanistan would prolong the war, asking the government and militants to build trust.

Around 350 people participated in a gathering organized by ASC in Eidgah Masjid of capital Kabul.

Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Talibaninfo-icon official and ASC head, said they had talked with the Taliban and would talk with the government as well about trust building for peace negotiations and not to kill prisoners of war.

He asked both the sides, the government and the Taliban, to behave with prisoners of war in accordance with Islamic and international principles.

Agha said more than 36,500 political prisoners were held in government jails. However, he did not provide information about prisoners in Taliban’s jails.

Execution of political inmates by the government would complicate the situation, he believed, adding the ASC was creating a commission to build trust between the two sides in first step.

He said the ASC also planned to create a grand council of elders, political figures, ulemainfo-icon and influential individuals for supporting the peace process in the country.

“The security situation would not improve by increasing the number of foreign troops, it would harm the country. Foreign troops should make their strategies for peace in Afghanistan and avoid engaging in more wars,” Agha added.

Ziaulhaq Amarkhel, head of the National Stability Societyinfo-icon (NSS) who also attended the meeting, said: “The Afghan government and the Taliban should listen to the voice of people that the victims of the imposed war are Afghans, we should not expect peace from foreigners because the war is in their interest .”

About expected surge in foreign troops in Afghanistan, he said: “There were more than 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014 but they failed to succeed.”

About 8,400 US troops and around 5,000 NATOinfo-icon soldiers are present in Afghanistan. However, the US military has sought more troops for Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban and Daesh.

Amerkhel also requested Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to focus his efforts on establishing peace in the country.

He said Hekmatyar should not stand against the Taliban and instead convey people’s voice to the government and the worldinfo-icon that the Afghans were tired of the war.

He claimed the peace process had been a money-making source by some figures, asking the government to hire qualified and honest individuals to the High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) if it really wanted peace in the country.

mds/ma

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