Communique - The Consultative Peace Loya Jirga 2019
April 29 – May 2, 2019 (9 – 13 Saur 1398)
In the Name of God, the Merciful
Inspired by the holy verse 42:38, [And whose affair is determined by consultation among themselves.] and convened by Presidential Decree Number 162 dated 11/03/2019 (20/12/1397), we the 3,200 members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, composed of women and men, elected representatives of the nation in the houses of Parliament, members of the ulema, religious scholars, influential personalities, tribal elders, members of provincial councils, members of the High Peace Council, representatives from civil society and social organizations, representatives of women, the private sector, scientific institutions, academics, writers and poets, artists, national and civic institutions, the youth, members of the media, members of the bar and the association of defense lawyers, registered political parties, athletes, persons with disabilities caused by conflict, families pf security and defence forces victims, families of the victims of the conflict, members of the Helmand Peace March, representatives of refugees living in Iran and Pakistan, representatives from Afghan experts in the Diaspora, Kuchis, Hindus and Sikhs, and other persons of influence and expertise from every strata of society, gathered for five days from 29 April to 3 May 2019 (9-13 Saur 1398) to consult on the meaning of peace, define a framework for, and set limits on, peace negotiations between the Taliban Movement and relevant parties in the Afghanistan peace process.
We the members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, representing the honourable and noble people of Afghanistan, who have endured many years of war and bloodshed, poverty, deprivation, migration, and displacement: with consideration for their religious and national obligations, the vital need of the Afghan people for peace, and the knowledge that an end to the conflict alone does not achieve a dignified and lasting peace. It requires the safeguarding of national interests, economic and social development, poverty alleviation, political stability and regional and international consensus. We pay tribute to the determination, forbearance, patience and sacrifices of the great nation of Afghanistan, especially the security and defence forces, to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for all. We appreciate the initiative of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to consult the nation about ending the war and bloodshed and achieving lasting peace. We salute the efforts of the international community to bring peace to Afghanistan. We reaffirm a commitment to Islamic principles, national values, jihad, and resistance; as well as the safeguarding of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have come together to bring messages of peace to the relevant parties involved in the Afghanistan peace process.
We, members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, having deliberated the issues outlined in the agenda items set by the fifty working committees and having held comprehensive discussions in the general session, concur on the following points:
- We, the participants of this Jirga, are determined and committed to bring durable peace to the country.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on the Taliban Movement to, considering the adverse consequences of war and bloodshed, heed the voice of this great gathering of people who represent every corner of Afghanistan, end their animosity, and participate in the development and prosperity of their homeland. There are no winners in war and are there any losers in peace.
- One of the main drivers of conflict in Afghanistan is diverse and varied readings and interpretations of Islam. Members of the Consultative Peace Jirga recommends that the government, the Taliban Movement and religious scholars unify their interpretation of Islam and be the catalysts for national unity and consensus.
- The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban Movement must submit to the voice of the outright majority of Afghans and declare an immediate and permanent ceasefire to take effect across the country on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in the current year; in order to respect the will of the people, honor the holy month of Ramadan, end violence and build trust among the parties, and cease negative propaganda.
- The Islamic Republic system is the great achievement of the people of Afghanistan and the result of many years of sacrifice and struggle [Mujahedat] . Establishing and strengthening peace in Afghanistan must upholf the integrity of the system (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) through direct negotiations.
- The current constitution of Afghanistan is a national and valuable guarantee to the Afghan people, which should be preserved; but, after a peace agreement, if necessary, amendments to some of its articles are possible through appropriate and principled mechanisms.
- The fundamental rights of citizens as enshrined in the constitution of Afghanistan, including the rights of women and children, the right to political and civil participation, the right to freedom of expression, the right to education and employment, the right to access public services as well as the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, heirs of martyrs, must be preserved and strengthened as part of the peace process.
- The security and defence forces are the country’s pride. Consolidating and sustaining lasting peace requires strong national security and defence institutions. Therefore, the people of Afghanistan, through this jirga, emphasize the preservation and strengthening of these institutions.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga request the parties and the countries involved in the Afghan peace process to pave the way for the opening of a Taliban political office in Afghanistan through mutual understanding and cooperation.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on the government of Afghanistan to preserve the values and achievements of the past two decades and in close coordination with the international community and after consensus among all parties to the peace process, prepare a feasible timetable for the responsible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on the government of Afghanistan, all political parties and currents as well as influential national personalities, during this historic and decisive time, to use the present opportunities and for creating a national and domestic political consensus to advance the peace process and enter into peace negotiations from a unified and Afghanistan-wide position.
- All the involved parties should limit and refrain from [imposing] preconditions that constrain the ground for the commencement of direct negotiations.
- All parties must act in the spirit of Islam and ensure the good treatment of captives and prisoners of the other side. They must use flexible and constructive approaches to the exchange of captives and prisoners, and make greater efforts to build trust and demonstrate goodwill between the two parties.
- To achieve durable peace, regional and international consensus is imperative and vital. Therefore, members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on regional and trans-regional countries and the international community to coordinate their efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan with the government and put the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the centre of their initiatives and efforts.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on the government to emphasise, in all negotiations and talks, a policy of good neighbourliness with neighbours and the countries of the region. If there is persistent interference in the affairs of Afghanistan by countries in the regions or some of the neighbours, [the government must] lodge a formal complaint of behalf of the people of Afghanistan with the United Nations Security Council.
- The government must, in consultation with influential national, political and social addresses, develop a comprehensive and all-inclusive plan to accelerate the peace process, begin direct negotiations with the Taliban Movement, and should consider and implement the consultative guidance of this jirga.
- Realising the urgent need for an impartial body to facilitate the peace process, members of this jirga recognise that, in order to make the High Peace Council transparent and effective, fundamental reforms should be made to the structure, organisation, and performance of the Council.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, considering experiences of the past, advise that the negotiating team be formed of jihadi personalities, persons who are nationalist, expert, experienced, of good repute, committed to human rights values and peace-seeking. The composition should be manageable (maximum 50 people), consider the ethnic balance, and include the learned ulema, tribal elders, women, the youth, families of victims, people with disabilities, minorities, representatives of civil society, refugees, the media, Kuchis, representatives from different classes and strata of the society, as well as some members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga ask the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to facilitate and accelerate the peace process, identify the legitimate and reasonable requests and demands of the Taliban and take necessary actions in their regard for further confidence building.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, will be messengers of peace and will carry this Jirga’s message of peace to their people and communities upon return to their localities; and will begin comprehensive efforts in cooperation with local administrations, ulema, tribal elders, the youth and women, so that we can play our religion and national part in the ensuring peace.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga call on the government to maintain its relations with members of this jirga, with influential institutions and continuously inform members of the jirga on the implementation of the jirga’s advice as well as the progress of peace talks and negotiations.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, emphasising the articles of this resolution, address the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Movement of the Taliban, the International community, regional countries and other parties involved to respect the rightful requests and demands of the people of Afghanistan, the advice of this historic Loya Jirga, make serious and sincere efforts, take practical steps to establish and consolidate a durable peace, and prevent the protraction and intensification of the conflictr and [continuing] civilian casualties.
- Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, due to the significance of this historic Loya jirga, call on the Chair and Administrative Board of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga to publish and disseminate all the views, opinions and recommendations of the fifty committees in an official document.
May Allah give us success
Members of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga
Loya Jirga Hall