‘Afghanistan red lines’ specified for intra-Afghan dialogue in Qatar

Following peace efforts being made by Afghanistan government and a number of regional and world countries in particular US, representatives of civil society organizations and women activists say efforts and presence of Afghan women and their red lines should not be ignored in coming intra-Afghan dialogue set to be held in a week in Doha, capital city of Qatar.
According to women activists and civil society organizations, red lines of Afghan women and their achievements and efforts should not be forgotten as presence of women and civil society activists within the High Reconciliation Council can reflect the voice of women.
“The rights that are considered for women in the country’s constitution are the red lines of Afghan women in ongoing peace efforts,” a women activist Safia Hamnawa said, adding that currently the part of women in peace negotiations is less than 30 percent, which is very less.
Women and civil society activists say there is only one seat for women in High Reconciliation Council and one seat can never share the demands of Afghan women’s rights and achievements with the warring sides and other participants in the intra-Afghan dialogue.
Aziz Rafiyee, head of civil society forum, has also said that any efforts of peace that could not reflect the voice of the people and victims of the four decades of war would not be acceptable as observing the country’s constitution, maintaining women’s political role, consideration to victims of the war were red lines of civil society organizations and women activists in all peace efforts.
In the meantime, United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) has also stressed on active role of women in ongoing peace talks, saying that role of Afghan women in the peace process of the country is significant.
“The people of Afghanistan in particular women and children have the right to live in a peaceful environment; therefore, no process will be successful without presence of women,” UNAMA added.
EU delegation to Afghanistan has also insisted on participation of Afghan women in the country’s peace process, saying that women should be involved in ongoing peace talks with the Taliban group as no talks could continue if women were not given active role.
So far, peace talks have occurred only between US officials and the Taliban group, without the presence of Afghanistan government. Now, efforts and preparations are underway for intra-Afghan dialogue which is set to be held in Qatar with presence of representatives of Afghanistan government.
Both US officials and representatives of the Taliban group are near an agreement on the withdrawal of US forces and on a Taliban pledge that Afghan soil would not be used by terrorist groups to attack the United States and its allies. It is also worth mentioning that High Reconciliation Council has been formed amid increasing of efforts and preparations for upcoming Peace Consultative Jirga set to be held in two weeks in Kabul with participation of hundreds of Afghan elders and representatives of all classes.
Suraya Raiszada

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