First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, in his rejoinder to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has said that his letter was “not a concern” for the Afghan government and it will not change its stance on reconciliation efforts.
Addressing a function on Monday marking the seventh death anniversary of Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, Saleh said Afghanistan will not accept “illegitimate demands” that negate the people’s right to vote.
Saleh warned that there will never be any compromise on Constitution and the people’s right to vote.
In his blunt letter to President Ghani, Blinken proposed a United Nations-led peace conference in Turkey aimed at forming an inclusive Afghan government with the Taliban and establishing a three-month reduction in violence that will lead to a ceasefire.
“Our relations with the West and the Americans are fundamental, but whenever our interests are violated, we inform our nation.”
He said the United States can hold a conference and decide on the presence of its troops in Afghanistan or negotiate with the Taliban. But it is the legitimate right of the Afghan government to not compromise when the fate of 35 million people in Afghanistan is put at stake.
Saleh said we need peace, “but will make peace with dignity.”
“We will never accept a coerced and imposed peace,” he maintained.
“We will never bow to a deal by some individuals that endangers the system, our achievements and the people’s right to vote,” Saleh said.
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH: The chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, said he received the letter two days ahead of US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s trip to Kabul.
He cautiously supported the US and said that the letter pointed out some important issues.
“No one can impose anything on the people of Afghanistan,” Abdullah said, but regretted that “division, discrimination and disunity allow anything to be imposed on us.”
Senior advisor to President Ghani, Mohammad Mohaqiq, however, backed Saleh saying the country’s achievements of the last two decades will not be ignored.
Mohaqiq warned that the “coercive” language and a “coerced” peace are unacceptable to Afghan people.
He urged the global community to consider Afghanistan’s dignity.
“When we say that the Taliban must join, it is because we have a system, an army, human rights and Constitution. Why should we join the Taliban? We do not want to fight against any party to join them in mountains,” Mohaqiq said.