KABUL: Key Afghan political figures have scrapped their membership in the newly-established High National Reconciliation Council (HNRC) led by Chairman Abdullah Abdullah.
President Ashraf Ghani approved 48 candidates, including leadership and deputies, as members of HNRC through a special decree on Saturday in a major development towards facilitating the long-anticipated intra-Afghan negotiations.
Shortly after the announcement, former president Hamid Karzai declined the membership of HNRC and said he would not become part of any government structure.
A statement from Karzai’s office added that the former president would continue his efforts for peace and reconciliation as a citizen of the country.
Salahuddin Rabbani, former minister of foreign affairs, who was also in the list, in a statement stated that he was not consulted about the inclusion of his name in advance and thus he revoked his membership.
On the other hand, Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) party, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, called the membership of Mujahideen and political leaders in the council symbolic and ineffective.
“The formation of a powerful high council that does not have the nature of a government mission is the main principle for effective intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Hafiz-Ur-Rahman Naqi, the deputy head of HIA.