False - January 14, 2021

Rumors on interim govt misleading as US issues strong denial

KABUL (Pajhwok): Social media reports claim senior Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan (JIA) leaders Atta Mohammad Noor and Younis Qanoni have discussed the establishment of an interim government in Afghanistan in Dubai with US Chief Negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad.

However, US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson on Wednesday said the US was not advocating an interim government and the outcomes of the Afghan Peace negotiations should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people.

Claim: According to news reports, Zalmay Khalilzad during his recent trip to Kabul shared three strategies regarding the future government of Afghanistan with political leaders.

The first strategy was the inclusion of the Taliban in the current government, second was the government’s inclusion in the Taliban structure and the third was about the establishment of an interim government.

But earlier, some reports in the media and social media circulated that Senior JIA leaders Qanoni, Atta Mohammad Noor and Salahuddin Rabbani had held meetings with Kahlilzad in Dubai and discussed the establishment of the interim government.

Syed Ibrahim Ammad, member of the JIA leadership council, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Qanoni, Noor and Rabbani traveled to Dubai and held meetings with Khalilzad on the idea of establishing an interim government.

He said Noor and Qanoni might have also met other Afghans and representatives of foreign countries who have influence on the Afghanistan peace process.

Kabul News TV also claimed on its twitter page that Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) Leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had held telephonic talks with Khalilzad.

The Afghanistan Times also confirmed Hekmatyar’s contact with Khalizad in its Wednesday report. Habib Rahman Hekmatyar, the son of HIA leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said Khalilzad talked with his father on matters related to the peace process. During the conversation, Hekmatyar present his peace strategy.

Fazal Karim Aymaq, Wolesi Jirga member from Kunduz province, said some Afghan politicians have flown to Dubai for talks on the three strategies for peace.

He did not provide more details but added these strategies would help the establishment of durable peace in the country.

US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson on Wednesday on his twitter wrote: “We have not advocated, and the United States is not advocating an interim government.

The outcomes of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations are up to Afghans & we believe those outcomes should reflect the wishes & aspirations of the Afghan people.”

“Ambassador Khalilzad and I have talked and will continue to talk with Afghans about the need to accelerate the talks in Doha & solicited from those we have met their ideas, as well as their concerns,” he added.

Recently, President Ashraf Ghani during an interview with the CNN said he would hand over power only to his elected successor.

The Taliban have also said the matter of an interim government has not yet been discussed in the Doha peace talks.

Outcome: The two major political parties, the JIA and the HIA, confirm their contacts and discussions with Khalilzad on the peace process.

Verdict: The claim circulating in social media and reported by the media that the Afghan politicians met Khalilzad on an interim government is misleading.


Abdul Raqeeb Sail 

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