Afghanistan: Karzai pitching national dialogue to exiled politicians

Former president Hamid Karzai in a meeting with Turkish foreign minister in Ankara.

Former President Hamid Karzai met with a number of prominent former Afghan politicians in Turkey on Sunday.

Karzai, who landed in Turkey on Saturday after his trip to Germany, held separate talks with former Jihadi leader Abdul Rasul Sayyaf; leader of the Hezb-e Wahdat party of Afghanistan Mohammad Mohaqiq; and former head of high peace council Karim Khalili in Istanbul in Turkey.

Mohaqiq told Amu TV that Karzai emphasized the need for “national dialogue” in the presence of all parties during the meeting with him.

Karzai said Afghanistan’s future government should be formed through national dialogue, he added.

“My point of view is that it is better to resolve Afghanistan’s issues through negotiation and understanding, but if the Taliban are ready to negotiate. In this case, we are also ready to negotiate with the Taliban,” Mohaqiq stated.

He said that Karzai told him of he has shared the “National Dialogue” plan with the Taliban leaders. However, the plan has not been accepted nor rejected by the Taliban.

Karzai also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara and with Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, former Afghan vice president and the leader of the Junbish-e-Milli party on Monday.

Dostum’s spokesman, Ihsan Niro, told Amu TV that Karzai asked Dostum to support the “national dialogue” plan.

“Marshal Sahib told Karzai Sahib that he supports the national dialogue plan and will ask the leaders of the Council of National Resistance for the Salvation of Afghanistan to support this plan,” Niro said.

Karzai has said the Taliban has assigned a committee to review the national dialogue plan, he added.

Former president Hamid Karzai in a meeting with former vice president and former head of the high peace council, Mohammad Karim Khalili in Turkey.

The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, however, stated that he had no idea if Karzai had shared the proposal with the Taliban leaders or if a committee was created to review the plan.

After the Taliban took control of the country, Karzai was barred from traveling abroad for 15 months.

Karzai, however, was allowed by the Taliban to travel to Germany for a “medical checkup.”

He met with the US Special Representative Thomas West in the UAE in early December. Karzai also met with former vice president Ahmad Zia Massoud and former Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor in the UAE.

After his trip to UAE, Karzai headed to Germany where he met with former justice minister Fazl Ahmad Manawi, who is closely linked with the anti-Taliban resistance front, led by Ahmad Massoud.

He met with the Speaker of the Parliament and the Minister of Security of Germany as well.

A source close to Karzai said that he is expected to return to Afghanistan on Wednesday this week.