Loya Jirga, Intra-Afghan Dialogue and the Challenges Ahead


Loya Jirga, Intra-Afghan Dialogue and the Challenges Ahead

Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared

Mairaj ul Hamid Nasri

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” —Napoleon Hill

The Loya Jirga, or ‘grand council’, is traditionally the supreme body in Afghanistan. It consists of Afghan dignitaries, including tribal elders, religious figures, and political leaders, from different ethnicities and groups. All important matters, including resolving a national crisis or settling a national issue, are discussed in this council of elders. It is considered the “highest expression” of the Afghan people. In this backdrop, it was held from August 7 to 9 with hundreds of delegates from across the country participating to to determine whether a last set of 400 hard-core prisoners from the Taliban insurgency should be freed to clear the way for long-awaited direct peace talks between Afghanistan’s warring sides.

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