Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pak-Afghan Jirga: Draft Declaration

At the ongoing grand peace jirga in Kabul, Pakistan has proposed formation of a joint tribal council to open negotiations with Afghan resistance groups and work for a ceasefire to create necessary conditions for peaceful resolution of the conflict, an official document made available to Dawn reveals.

The six-page document — titled “Pak-Afghan Jirga: Draft Declaration” — says that Pakistan would call for durable institutions to guarantee the unity and stability of Afghanistan and underline the need for peace as a ‘critical prerequisite’ for the prosperity of the Afghan people.

The document, which was distributed among the delegates of the jirga, said there was no military solution to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

It calls for the creation of a tribal council or a peace and reconciliation jirga, comprising 25 representatives each from Pakistan and Afghanistan, authorised by the grand jirga and also by the government of Afghanistan, “to immediately undertake to open negotiations with the resistance on how best and how soon to end violence in the country.”

The tribal council, it says, shall comprise only tribesmen and will not include any government representatives from the two sides.

The council, says the document, would solicit the response of the resistance and engage with the government in Kabul on how best to find common ground between the positions held by the two sides, keeping in mind the imperatives of the unity of Afghanistan, its territorial integrity, sovereignty and its fundamental character as an Islamic, democratic country.

It says that the tribal council would address all issues which impact on the impasse as far as negotiations between the government and resistance are concerned and seek a comprehensive resolution to the conflict within the framework of a united Afghanistan free of militancy and extremism and address the root cause of the conflict and violence including the question of the presence of coalition forces in that country.

The document says that as soon as the peace and conciliation jirga begins its consultations with the resistance, including the Taliban and the Hezb-i-Islami (Hekmatyar), a ceasefire should come into effect between the resistance and Afghan/coalition forces for a period to be mutually agreed upon.

“This would give a respite to both the resistance and the (Afghan) government to consider coolly and dispassionately the grave situation confronting the nation and the likely options on how best to resolve the conflict,” it says.

According to the draft declaration, Pakistan would also seek the Grand Jirga to call upon the resistance to show vision and maturity and respond positively in order to achieve a breakthrough in ending violence and creating an environment in which they too can join the mainstream Afghan institutions.

Pakistan would also seek the Grand Jirga to resolve that a key component for peace in Afghanistan is the security and stability of the Pak-Afghan border.

“All possible measures, therefore, must be adopted to ensure that this becomes a border of peace and friendship bringing the two countries closer together” and those crossing the border with ulterior motives must be confronted by institutions and systems rooted in the culture of the area.

Pakistan will be seeking the establishment of border peace monitoring committees, on both sides of the border, comprising tribesmen living across the Durand Line to be assisted by officials concerned from both sides to undertake to monitor movement of people across the border, identify the main routes and bring tribal pressure to bear on people involved in sabotage.

The draft declaration also seeks to call upon the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to draw up a comprehensive Border Infrastructure Development Project in cooperation with the international community for speedy uplift of the tribes along the borders.

According to the draft declaration, Pakistan would also be seeking the creation of a Pak-Afghan Peace and Friendship Commission, as a permanent institution mandated to not only implement the decisions of the Grand Jirga but also carry forward the task of building bridges of trust and cordiality, accommodation and tolerance.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you please add a link to this draft? Thanks MSE