In their first formal session on Tuesday evening, the Afghan peace negotiating team leader, Masoom Stanekzai emphasized the importance of the current democratic system in the country, but still keeping it within the framework of an Islamic Republic.
In his speech to all negotiating team members, from both the Afghan delegation and the Taliban team, he said the war in Afghanistan has been imposed on the people, who for decades have had to sacrifice their lives.
He stated that todayís Afghanistan, from a social, economic, humanitarian and human rights point of view, is witnessing fundamental changes and has a system with broad foundations and strong infrastructure in which the rights and freedoms of all citizens of the country are protected based on Islamic beliefs and values.
He made it clear that the governing system of Afghanistan was recognized by all countries around the world, unlike during the Talibanís regime. He said during Taliban rule, "this country was in complete isolation of the international community."
Stanekzai also stated that enormous strides had been made in the field of education - specifically in Islamic education.
"In addition to the construction and renovation of hundreds of mosques and the strengthening of Islamic teachings in educational institutions in the country, more than one thousand religious centers, including madrassas, and Darul Uloom (Islamic University) have been established.
He said: "The system of republic and the existing constitution of the country is the connecting point of our nation."
He also said the current constitutional law, passed by the highest and most important decision-making body, the Loya Jirga, has no precedent in the history of the country.
"This law is one of the most authoritative laws in terms of Islamic values, both at the regional level and in comparison with the eight constitutional laws that make Islam the religion of the state," he said.
Stanekzai said peace does not have to lead to the destruction of existing structures, but it should instead revive, reform and strengthen structures within the framework of the Islamic system, which has regional and global credibility.
Noting the high death toll that years of conflict has inflicted on the country, he said "who killed more or less is not debatable at all. The important question is why and for what crime are Afghans being killed?"
He asked all negotiators to look at all the grievances and problems in the country and come to an understanding that will end the war and work for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
He said the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is committed to achieving lasting peace and has proved it in its actions.
"As you know, one of the key secrets to the success of negotiations is a strong commitment to peace and both sides must have a common understanding to achieve peace. If this principle does not exist, then no matter how hard we try, peace will not be possible," he said.
"It is natural for each side in the negotiations to insist on its own principles, values and aspirations and try to get the most out of its demands on the other side. But we must also keep in mind that our demands, based on past experiences, are only for the sake of Allah and the country, not for personal gain."
Reiterating calls for an end to violence, Stanekzai said: "The biggest and most important priority of our people is to stop the bloodshed in the country," adding that the Afghan population was putting all its hope in the hand of negotiators to end the killing and suffering.
In conclusion, he stated that in respect of the withdrawal of foreign troops, the security and safety of the people must be taken seriously "and we must have a comprehensive dialogue on this issue."