FILE PHOTO: Gathering at Loya Jirga hall.

KABUL, Afghanistan – As the country started to gather around 3,000 people from across Afghanistan, former politicians expressed criticism about the national assembly of Islamic clerics, saying inclusivity is the only way for solution that would benefit the nation as a whole.

They say without the participation of political figures at such gatherings, the door for formal recognition of the so-called Islamic Emirate government will not be opened – neither at local, nor at international level.

“If those individuals who are influential in different aspects participated, the council will surely find a good way to benefit the nation of Afghanistan and it would be effective for recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the international community,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, leader of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan, as TOLOnew quoted.

The remark came at a time prominent Afghan leaders including former President Hamid Karzai, former chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, former chairman of the Senate Committee Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, were not invited to the gathering.

While a mixed emotion and conflicting opinions arise ahead of the assembly, a political analyst Torek Farhadi believe Loya Jirga can produce promising result if it includes Afghans from all region and tribes, saying “this gathering is a gathering of the Taliban and the legitimacy is within the Taliban.”

“Traders, youth, women from every region of Afghanistan should participate in gatherings to discuss the future fate,” said Fazal Hadi Wazeen, a university instructor, as the local media wrote.

Youths in Southeast Provinces Hopeful about Loya Jirga

Some elders and young people from the southeast provinces of the country suggested attendees of the “Gathering of Islamic Clerics” discuss topic such as forming an inclusive government, the reopening of girls’ high school and finding a basic solution for the economic problems of the people.

Residents from Logar, Paktia, Khost, and Paktika provinces contributed to the gathering, saying the government should listen to the voices of the people and respect their rights.

“Our current problems should be resolved and a vertical roadmap should remain for the future of Afghanistan,” said Sarwar Ahmadzai, an elder of a tribe in Logar province, as TOLOnews wrote.

“These gatherings are crucial for Afghanistan if they are done honestly and the wishes of the people are respected,” said Lawanng Arman, a resident of Khost.

“A decisive decision should be taken in order to reopen girls’ schools and we urge the government to bring the country out of the current situation,” said Sayed Jamal Asifkhail, a civil society activist in Paktia.

Residents expect positive outcomes from the gathering of Islamic Clerics that will determine the political sphere and help stabilize Afghanistan dwindling economy.

At least 3,000 people across Afghanistan have been invited to a gathering of Islamic clerics, which is held at the Loya Jirga Hall on Thursday in Kabul.

Three representatives, mostly clerics, from each village are invited, the sources said, adding the meeting will last for three days that will be focused on various issues in Afghanistan.

Though, it is still uncertain how long the gathering will last, the Kabul Polytechnic University – where the gathering will be held – has dismissed students for a period of eight days.

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