The move was made more than five months after Washington and the Taliban made the release of prisoners by both sides a precondition for talks between the militant group and Kabul. The talks will begin in Doha, Qatar, following the release of the prisoners in the coming days, US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter. Khalilzad welcomed Ghani`s decision and the statement of the Loya Jirga, a traditional meeting of elders of the Afghan tribe and other interest groups convened to decide controversial national issues. “The parties will initiate a process to reach agreement on a political roadmap and a lasting and comprehensive ceasefire to end the war in Afghanistan,” he said on Twitter. The United States supports the process of achieving lasting peace and the goal of “achieving a sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors, that does not pose a threat to the world,” he added. The Loya Jirga was officially opened by Zahir Shah, King of Afghanistan from 1933 to 1973. Karzai appointed him honorary president of the National Assembly, which would give the former king a supervisory role in drafting the new constitution and give him the position of presiding over national celebrations.  Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, announced on 21 January 2002 the composition of the Commission responsible for the Loya Jirga. Ismail Qasimyar, a legal and constitutional expert, was chaired. One of his two deputies was Mahboba Hoqomal, a professor of political science.  The Commission decided that the Loya Jirga should be open to 1450 people, 1051 of whom would be elected by indirect elections. Each district chose 20 people, who then proceeded to a secret ballot to choose a person who represents the entire borough. Each of the country`s 362 districts had at least one seat and more seats were allocated to 22,000 people each.
 The Commission would reserve an additional 100 seats for refugees, 25 for nomads, 53 seats for members of the Transitional Administration and the Commission and 160 seats for women.  It was the first time in Afghanistan`s history that women participated in a loya jirga.  In May, concerns were expressed about the influence of armed factions in several provinces on the selection of Loya Jirga members, and the Commission received numerous complaints about intimidation and violence.