Sun, Sep

Government decides to change HPC strategy, leadership


changes-in-hpcSome government sources say it has been decided to change the strategy and leadership of the Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) charged with seeking reconciliation with the Taliban.

The 70-member council has been struggling to carve out a role in the negotiations since the assassination of its chief, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Former president Hamid Karzai set up the council consisting of members drawn from Afghanistan's different ethnic and political groups to try to negotiate with the Taliban to end the war.

Sources say the government has decided to appoint as head of the HPC one from among three influential individuals being considered for the slot to replace Salahuddin Rabbani, who has taken over as new foreign minister.They are Pir Syed Ahmad Gillani, the founder of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, Pir Syed Ishaq Gillani, the founder of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan and Anwarul Haq Ahadi, a former minister and elected leader of the Afghan Social Democratic Party.

Earlier it was said President Ashraf Ghani is likely to appoint his uncle Dr. Abdul Qayyum Kuchi as the HPC chief, but now it is said he has denied the post citing health issues.

The government sources say Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah wants someone from his camp to replace Rabbani.

They add the president has been given a list carrying several names to choose one of them as the HPC chief. The list includes both the Gillanis and Ahadi and one of them is likely to be chosen, the sources say.

A source close to Ahmad Gillani told Pajhwok Afghan News the spiritual leader had high chances to be appointed as the HPC chief and he had recently increased his visits to the Presidential Palace.

Political expert Mohammad Hassan Haqyar said non-existence of a strong and sincere peace body resulted in failure of the process. He said positive changes in the policy and leadership of the HPC were direly felt.