Activists said human rights, women’s rights, democracy and freedom of expression must be the ‘red line’ in any peace talks.
Achievements Must Be ‘Red Line’ In Peace Talks: Activists
A number of women’s rights activists and political affairs analysts warn that the achievements gained in the last 17 years should not be sacrificed in the name of peace with the Taliban.
According to activists, democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of media, human rights and women’s and girl’s rights are the main achievements that need to be preserved.
The activists said these rights should be deemed a ‘red line’ by peace negotiators that deal with the Taliban.
“When we hear the name Taliban, we think that we are going to have problems. I would prefer not to be in the country if Taliban come,” said Samira Ahmadi, a defense attorney.
“We have paid the price and now even with lots of problems we have made progress, and this should not be ignored,” Yaqot Khan Zada, a women’s rights activist said.
The activists said achieving peace should not be at the cost of promoting extremism in society and that people with extremist ideals should not return to power.
“Men and women have worked hard and have gained a lot, especially the women. These achievements should not be stepped on,” Fatana Gailani, a women’s rights activist said.
A number of political activists also emphasized that discussions with the Taliban need to incorporate the issue of respect for human rights and the Afghanistan Constitution.
“The last 17 years achievements are the people's red line and I believe government and the people will not allow (these achievements) to be sacrificed,” MP Daud Kalakani said.
Addressing the 4th Afghan-India security dialogue in Kabul on Sunday, former National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta also warned that a Taliban-centric type of politics is creeping into the system.
Spanta said at the meeting that Afghans and Indians will be the main losers if a peace settlement in the country results in the interference in Afghanistan by countries that support insurgency.
“If peace comes at the price of re-influence of terrorism supporters in Afghanistan, the main losers will be the Afghan people, regional stability and the Indian government,” said Spanta.