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Can’t sacrifice free speech in the name of peace, says Danish

KABUL: Peace is government’s priority, but under no circumstance can freedom of speech be sacrificed in the ongoing peace process, the Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said on Sunday.

“If free speech becomes subdued, a dictatorship-like situation will arise, thereby isolating peace efforts,” he said.

At a ceremony marking the assignment of new members to the Oversight Commission on Access to Information, Danish said the government and the people praise peace efforts, “but, we all know that the nation has had remarkable achievements in the past one and a half decades which cannot be risked at any condition, even for achieving peace.”

The Oversight Commission on Access to Information Chief Sayed Akram Afzali says access to information is the key to transparency, which helps in fighting corruption within the government. Afzali also touted the status of access to information and dismissed restrictions in that arena.

Mr. Danish’s remarks come as some social activists have warned about clandestine deals in peace process, calling on government to allow people to observe peace negotiations with the political parties acting as mediums.

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