France Hosting Peace Dialog on Afghanistan
Saturday 8 December 2012
KABUL (Pajhwok Afghan News) – Representatives from Afghan government, political and military oppositions will participate in the next month’s gathering in France, officials said on Saturday.
- Asadullah Khalid is standing in the back row praying to Allah at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul
(Photo: Brian H. Neely)
Asadullah Khalid is serving as head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), which is the domestic intelligence agency of Afghanistan. On 6 December 2012, Khalid became injured during a failed Taliban assassination attempt in Kabul. The incident happened in the Taymeni area of the city, inside one of the many guesthouses that NDS uses in Kabul to reduce the risk of an attack. In early 2007, he escaped another assassination attempt, targeted also by a Taliban suicide bomber. His motorcade was destroyed but he survived with only minor injuries.
This is the third gathering organized by the French government, the first one was conducted few months ago. In the next month meeting, the opinions of Afghan government, political and military opposition parties would be exchanged.
Four members of the National Front including Dr. Abdulllah Abdullah were invited to participate in the gathering, but he would not participate in the meeting due to his busyness, the spokesman of the political opposition, Fazal Rahman Orya, said. Representatives from Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) and Taliban were also invited to exchange their opinions regarding peace and stability and some other issues in Afghanistan. Head of political affairs of the HIA, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, said that three members of their party would participate in the gathering. Among those doubtful to travel to Paris is Ahmad Zia Massoud, the brother of Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by al-Qa’ida in 2001.
After the assassination attempt on Afghan intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid by a Taliban suicide bomber disguised as a peace envoy, it was feared talks between the insurgents and their historical Northern Alliance enemies be derailed before they have even begun. The Afghan government is understood to have endorsed the Paris meeting, but it was uncertain whether it would continue to do so in the wake of the attack on Mr Khalid. However, former Taliban foreign ministry official-turned analyst Waheed Muzhda, a key mediator between the Taliban and Northern Alliance, told The Weekend Australian yesterday that he did not believe the attack would affect the plans.
During a press conference, Hamid Karzai said Afghan government supports initiatives which make possible inter-Afghan understanding. Nevertheless, he preferred Taliban, political opposition and government officials conducting peace talks inside Afghanistan, because it is the proper place for national dialog.