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The peace process in Afghanistan must not be left behind – The Diplomat


Since the beginning of internal Afghan peace talks, at least 14 journalists and human rights defenders have been killed in targeted attacks. Last week, Shaharzad Akbar, the head of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, stated that the Afghan public has yet to be informed of the agenda of the talks that were initially expected to begin in a few minutes. date in Istanbul, and is now reported as starting on April 24. And now US President Joe Biden is about to announce that US forces will leave Afghanistan on September 11, 2021, extending beyond the May 1 withdrawal deadline outlined in the US-Taliban agreement on February 2021, but not by much.

With that, civil society in Afghanistan has been marginalized. This is not because of a lack of effort at the outset of last year’s negotiations, but efforts to gain the right to participate in the new pressing urgency as civil society itself is in tandem. Violence is aimed at with one goal: to silence it.

Talk in Doha Last year was hailed as the beginning of the long awaited “internal Afghanistan dialogue”, comprised of a multilevel and inclusive delegation from the Afghan government – thanks to active lobbying from the women’s rights organization – has taken steps to increase its representativeness. However, as negotiations dragged on, representativeness decreased with speed, even though such sacrifices failed to lead to significant progress in the negotiations. Evidence shows that after months of negotiations in Doha (let alone the years spent just going to Doha), every major power, along with the United Nations, is trying to get involved again to restart negotiations. negotiations in Turkey (latest in a long line of organizers of peace talks in Afghanistan). Taliban said earlier this week they were not ready to attend, and the negotiations were delayed for a week. Even the baseline of a conventional peace negotiation – a ceasefire – seems to still have a long way to go, with the current language among the Afghan government’s partners still defined as “deregulation. force “.

Afghan civil society, has been repeatedly promised to include press release and directive from the coalition powers, had paid the most expensive price for delaying a real ceasefire. Notably, even female relief workers polio vaccination for the Afghan households that became the target of the shootings, let alone journalists, teachers and members of the judiciary was also killed. And their troubles may not diminish by the end of the war. The winner The Taliban’s (intentional) show of spirit makes it clear that whatever deal ends, the group considers itself the clear winner. Those who have benefited most from the Taliban’s inability to power are of course those who do not want to return under its rule, especially women and young people who have access to civil rights and freedoms. compliance with the current Afghanistan Constitution.

Similar constitution is at stake. The Afghan government’s inspector, Ghizaal Haress, noted that the Taliban secretly built their own constitution, which did not mention women. “This says a lot about the Taliban’s stance on women,” Haress said. The implementation of such a constitution, if the Taliban wanted to regain power and was allowed to do so, created a lot of fear in Afghan civil society.

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Including civil society representatives in various negotiations is the best opportunity for them to influence both the Afghan government and the international community on the true red line of the Afghan public, and in particular were the ones who lost most from the end of the republican side. system. This inclusion is no longer a given as there is no clear role outlined for any of the delegations believed to be present in Istanbul. Some women’s rights activists even assume that precisely because they seek to put justice and rights protection issues on the agenda they do not allow. These topics can be seen as slowing down the peace process.

It was in this dire situation that no less than 1,350 representatives of Afghan civil society organizations had gathered in Kabul at the risk of assassination. They have been joined online by thousands of members of the global Afghan community. Masood Karokhail, co-director of the Afghanistan Peace Mechanism (AMIP), commented that this was the largest gathering of civil society in Afghanistan in recent times. Their goals include: to pressure negotiating delegations to bring all sectors of society into the peace process (especially “direct access” to the table through the AMIP), complete ceasefire (as opposed to the long-promised and long-defined “cut.”), development efforts continued with the element of transitional justice and the “responsible, yes” withdrawal of foreign troops structured and conditional ”aimed at“ giving priority to the safety and security of all Afghans. ”

That there is such a great material gathering is history. As more and more activists were threatened with direct death, this stuntman was undeniable. What is more remarkable is their steadfast and continuing belief in the United Nations and their ability to influence the process. They directly appealed to the United Nations for the sensitivities of the day in UN own development jargon, citing research that peace processes are more sustainable in the presence of women and civil society.

The UN opted for a “light footprint” during the 2001 Bonn Conference, which assigned its civilian development role to foreign military forces, who preferred to focus on military objectives. While the conference outlined a path forward for full democracy, much of Afghanistan was humorously introduced, to its leaders. represents a number of military forces but in no way close to the real composition of Afghan society. The lack of a centralized mechanism means that many leaders holding important positions in government may avoid actual accountability to those they have to serve.

At the time of writing, it is not known whether the United Nations has an inclusion mechanism this time, or even whether negotiations in Istanbul will take place. United Nations continue To this day to promote inclusiveness and development in Afghanistan, it has come a long way since the fragmented beginnings of the peace building project in 2001. If it really wanted to prove it how far has been since then avoided another Bonn Conference at all costs. by making sure to include the AMIP. To end the fight with the same mistake that caused it in the first place would be a comedy with cosmic tragedy. As Masood Karokhail stated, “The UN, as a neutral partner that has promised to support the Afghan people, must keep its promise that it really matters.”



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