'National, regional consensus essential for peace'


KABUL: Participants of a conference in the capital Kabul stressed building national and regional consensus for peace, saying this achievement in the country would pave the way for peace in the region.
Habib Rahman Hekmatyar, a leading member of Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) and son of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said Thursday that the Taliban were united for the peace process, but the government was divided over the matter.
Hekmatyar accused the government of monopolizing the peace process, saying Afghan officials fear losing their power if peace returned to the country.
Building consensus for peace at home would pave the way for building a consensus for the process in the region, he believed. 
Meanwhile, Fawzia Koofi, a member of the government’s negotiating team, speaking to the conference, said that there was no military solution to the Afghan war, and politicians and neighboring countries have acknowledged it.
She said that the intra-Afghan talks were an opportunity for peace, and all regional countries should be included in the process so groups opposing peace would have no place for shelter.
Koofi said that after her return from Doha to Kabul, she found that Afghan politicians weren’t united for peace negotiations. She stressed unity among Afghan politicians on peace and said that the process would face problems if differences persisted on the issue.