KABUL, Afghanistan - The Afghan government will host a traditional tribal gathering on peace in April, as President Hamid Karzai pushes his national reconciliation program, a spokesman said.
The meeting, known as a lowya jerga, will include members of parliament, Islamic religious leaders, tribal elders and other influential people, said Wahid Omar, a Karzai spokesman.
The announcement came as Karzai has stepped up his efforts to reconcile with Taliban fighters and reintegrate them with Afghan society. "The Taliban are welcome to return to their own country and work for peace, in order for us to be able then to have the U.S. and other forces have the freedom to go back home," Karzai said late last month in Kabul.
Karzai has said that he plans to set up a National Council for Peace, Reconciliation and Reintegration, which will set up a conference aimed at peace.
- Journalist Matiullah Mati contributed to this report.