News / Asia

Strict Security Marks Second Day of Afghan Peace Jirga

Sean Maroney

Despite earlier Taliban violence, delegates from all over Afghanistan are meeting for a second day at President Hamid Karzai's national peace assembly, known as a jirga.  As participants discussed how to move Afghanistan toward peace, our correspondent gathered reaction to the jirga in Kabul.

Afghan forces increased security on the road leading to the National Consultative Peace Jirga in Kabul Thursday, a day after the Taliban sought to disrupt the opening ceremony with rockets, gunfights and suicide bombers.

The 1,600 delegates are meeting in smaller groups to find a consensus for peace that jirga overseers are expected to announce Friday.

Muhammad Azeem Hanif is a delegate from Badakhshan.  He spoke to us on the sidelines during the jirga's second day.

He says he and his fellow delegates are in deep discussions, mindful that all Afghans want peace and unity.  He says that, so far, his group is not recommending that the government set preconditions before planning peace talks with the insurgents.

The government is demanding that the Taliban lay down their weapons, renounce violence and accept the constitution.

He also says that the Taliban's attack during the jirga's opening ceremony Wednesday, obviously, came at a bad time and may have hurt the hopes of ordinary Afghans.  But, he says, the people of Afghanistan will not back down.  They want peace, and they will move forward.

Many Afghans we spoke with agreed with Hanif and had their own message for the delegates.

Mirza Khan is a shopkeeper outside the capital:

He says he hopes foreigners will not be involved in this jirga.  He asks the delegates to remember the people and to stick to their word when they make a decision.

Noor Ahmadzai is a taxi driver in Kabul:

He says it is good for Afghanistan to stop the bloodshed.  But he says people are not happy with the government because there is corruption.  He says if the corruption does not end, there will never be peace.

The Taliban say they are opposed to the jirga.  One former Taliban official told us he had received death threats.

Critics of Mr. Karzai's government also say the jirga does not adequately address the concerns of the people of Afghanistan.  

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid