Afghan Tribal elders and political leaders to have grand council
27 February, 2019
Tribal elders and political leaders are set to sit down for a grand council in Afghanistan on March 17 to deliberate on ways to end the Taliban insurgency, according to the presidential peace envoy, Umer Daudzai. The grand council (loya jirga) will be attended by more than 2,000 participants for four days of debate under a large tent and will follow the highest level of negotiations between Taliban officials and the US diplomats, scheduled to kick off from Monday onwards in Qatar.
A centuries-old institution, the loya jirga has long been used to build consensus among rival tribes, factions and ethnic groups. It was previously used to lay down the foundations of a post-Taliban society in 2001. Ever since a US-led campaign drove the hardline Islamist militants from power, Taliban continue to wage an unrelenting guerrilla war against government and Western forces; consistently refusing to go to a discussion table with the Kabul government, which they have long dismissed as a foreign-backed “puppet” regime.