Monday 7 June 2010

Resolution agreed at the Kabul Peace jirga

In case you have not seen it, here is the resolution adopted at the end of the National Consultative Peace Jirga held in Kabul last week.
The jirga's final resolution calls for the release of prisoners who have allegedly been detained by Afghan and foreign forces without sufficient evidence.
It also calls for the formation of a commission to lead efforts to open negotiations with the Taliban, who have vowed not to engage in peace talks until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan.
The resolution also says insurgents who want to take part in the peace process must cut their ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. It says militants who join the peace process should be removed from the U.N. blacklist.
On Sunday, President Karzai, in compliance with the resolution, called for a review of the cases of all prisoners linked to the Taliban and other militants and announced the formation of a special office to review the cases.
He simultaneously sacked his Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and National Directorate of Security chief Amrullah Saleh. He appointed Munir Mangal as acting interior minister and Ibrahim Spinzada as acting intelligence chief. A statement on his website inferred that the officials had been sacked for not preventing the rocket and gun attack on the opening of the jirga last Wednesday. It said their explanations had not been satisfactory.
However, there is more to this. Both men were pro-American and agreed with the caution expressed by US policymakers over integrating former Taliban fighters into the police and armed forces.
Saleh, an ethnic Tajik who has a close relationship with the CIA, is thought to have been opposed to Karzai's stated policy of releasing Taliban fighters as a way of demonstrating goodwill towards the organisation. However, it is also likely that the Taliban itself has insisted on his removal as a precondition for talks. US opposition to the sacking is likely to be muted.
Otherwise the jirga resolution has few surprises -although it ends with a denunciation of Israel for its attack on the aid flotilla trying to get through the blocade to Gaza, during which nine people were killed by Israeli commandos.

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