• publish: 9 January 2021
  • time: 1:40 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 16554

Ghani ready to hand over power to elected successor

President Ashraf Ghani said on Saturday his basic goal is to be able to hand over power to an elected successor so as to honor all Afghans for the sacrifices they have made.

In an interview with CNN, Ghani said he hopes to do this “through the will of the people.”

“This is crucial to enable us to both honor the sacrifice of our civilians, our activists, and others.”

He also stated that if the goal of a sovereign, democratic, united Afghanistan is maintained then the current peace process will be able to move forward.

“But if the objective of the Taliban is to dominate and give us the peace of the grave, then that will have very negative consequences.

“Our society is united in seeking peace but we want to have a positive peace,” Ghani said.

Also in the interview was First Lady Rula Ghani who said the constructive participation of women at the Doha peace talks was a positive development.

She said the female peace negotiators for the Afghan Republic’s team were actively involved in the talks and had progressed from representing only women, to representing all of Afghanistan.

She said: “The Taliban are our brothers and our sisters and as Afghans, they have the right to come and live in Afghanistan,” adding that the question that needed to be asked was whether the Taliban had the right to bring their own way of thinking and impose it on the rest of the population.

She also said if the Taliban have political ambition “they can do it through the electoral process”.

The president meanwhile said: “We are in an open moment; the incoming [Joe] Biden administration is an immense opportunity – to work with us a) to define what the US security interests in Afghanistan and the region are – no one wants a return to a heavy footprint.”

He said the second point was that it was essential to end 40 years of conflict and thirdly, the peace process needs to be truly owned and led by the Afghan people.

Ghani also said the scale and scope of US presence in Afghanistan needs to be defined. “Here the most critical issue is how to marry a conditions-based approach with a time-based approach,” he said.

“My basic goal is to be able to hand power through the will of the people to my elected successor. This is crucial to enable us to both honor the sacrifice of our civilivilans, our activists, and others,” Ghani stated.

He also stated, “one thing needs to be clear Afghan society is not willing to go back and we are not the type of society that the Taliban type approach of the past can be imposed on us.”

“That was the peace of the graveyard, he said.

Ghani stated the country wants “a positive peace where all of us can overcome our past and embrace each other and rebuild an Afghanistan where all peace and countries can interact.”

On the issue of troops withdrawal, Ghani said: “We are on the frontline of your (US) security,” and stated the key issue is not about charity but about responsibility.

He asked the question of what is the threat of terrorism? Also is it a system or is it individuals?

He also said that since 2015, US lives lost in Afghanistan totals 98, “while we the Afghan people have lost over 40,000 civilians and military”.

But if “US would like to withdraw [troops], all we ask for is a process that is predictable,” and one that is mutually agreed upon, he stated.

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