In an interview with TRT World, Ghani said Afghanistan can only secure long-lasting peace with a democratic system.
He also rejected the idea of forming an interm government. “By what authority will an interim government be created?”
Ghani strongly rejected the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate, stressing that Afghanistan can achieve “long lasting peace only through a democratic system”.
“If we do not have a system where the citizens elect their leaders, there will not be stability,” he said.
“[An] Emirate was never accepted by the people of Afghanistan. It was imposed by force. Our Loya Jirga, the Consultative Grand Assembly of April 29 to June 2 has categorically endorsed the notion of republic. Peace must take place within the concept of the republic, not the concept of the emirate.”
On claims of progress being made in US-Taliban talks that were held in the Qatari capital, Doha, Ghani said: “Nothing is agreed until everything agreed.”
The president also called on the international community to take a unified stand against the Taliban’s ties with “terror networks”.
“The question of Taliban commitment vis-a-vis their relations with terrorist networks is not just to the Americans. This is a global issue, it is a regional issue and particularly it is a national issue. So that is not an area where concessions are going to be granted very easily, we need to have guarantees and a system of verification,” Ghani said.
On control of territories, Ghani said that of 400 Afghan districts, the Taliban only controlled 22.
“Most of the population of Afghanistan is today in the cities. Kabul has at least around five million in the province. So that is one-sixth of the population. When you take the other population centers, it comes to a very significant number. The Taliban do not control a single city,” Ghani said.
On Pakistan, Ghani said he recently had a “constructive” discussion with leaders of the country, during which Islamabad reiterated its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
Ghani said he asked a series of “direct questions to Pakistani leaders” and he got his answers.
He explained: “The first is – is it in Pakistan’s interest to have the Taliban run Afghanistan? The answer is no. Is it in Pakistan’s national interest to have a dependent government in Kabul? They said not possible and not in their interests. Three, is connectivity to their interest and therefore, the stability of Afghanistan? And the answer is yes.”
He added “This change of perspective in the top does not mean immediately the change of perspective in the middle.”