KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani approved 48 members, including leadership and deputies, of the High National Reconciliation Council (HNRC) through a special decree on Saturday in a major development towards facilitating the long-anticipated intra-Afghan negotiations.
Endorsing key national figures and political leaders as the council members, the presidential decree reads it aims at ensuring political consensus in Afghanistan and pushing the peace process ahead.
A power-sharing agreement between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in May saw Abdullah heading peace talks with the Taliban and thus the formation of HNRC.
The recent decree asked religious scholars, Parliament, private sector, provincial councils and media to introduce their picks for the membership of the council within a week.
Key members of HNRC are Hamid Karzai, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, Eng. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Karim Khalili, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Salahuddin Rabani, Atta Mohammad Noor, Ismael Khan, Younus Qanoni, Hamid Gilani, Zabihullah Mujadidi, Sayed Mansour Naderi, Enayatullah Shahrani, Eng. Mohammad Khan, Sadiq Mudabir, Esmael Ghazanfar and Maulvi Khudaidad Saleh, and Head of the Ulema Council.
From the government’s side, the members include Amrullah Saleh, Sarwar Danish, Hamdullah Mohib, Hanif Atmar, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, Mir Rahman Rahmani, Almas Zahid, Maulvi Jora Tahiri and State Minister for Peace Affairs.
Representing women in the council are Safya Sediqi, Najiba Ayubi, Mari Akrami, Zia Gul Rezae, Alya Palmaz, Farida Momand, Nasrin Oriakhel and Zarqa Yaftali.
The decree also introduced the leadership members and deputies of the council, including HNRC Chairman Abdullah, Abdul Salaam Rahimi, Enayatullah Farahmand, Asadullah Saadati, Eng. Zahra Muthari, Attaurrahman Saleem, Haji Din Mohammad and Mohmmad Akram Khapalwak.
This comes as Abdullah on Thursday said that intra-Afghan talks would begin by the end of this week. In the meantime, Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar also stated the remaining hard-core Taliban inmates are going to be released by the end of this week to pave the ground for the launch of intra-Afghan talks.