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Activists weight women’s role in talks with Taliban

By Rafiullah Anwari

KABUL: Following the US-Taliban peace deal signed on Saturday evening between the US special representative for Afghanistan and the Taliban Co-Founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) expressed concerns regarding the Taliban’ prisoners release by the Afghan government, saying that there should be a clear mechanism for prisoners swap in accordance to the law.

The AWN in a press conference on Sunday has called on the government to include 30 percent women’s in the peace delegation.  

Mari Akbary, CEO of AWN said, “We don’t beg, it is the right of Afghan women to be included in peace negotiation.” “Those women, who take part in peace talks, represent all Afghan women not a certain tribe, organization and party, and it is not clear that who will represent the AWN.”

The AWN emphasized on a ceasefire agreement and called on the US to cautiously and responsibly drawdown its troops in Afghanistan.

Another activists, Latifa Majidi said, “the decision to swap 5 Taliban prisoners in return for only one Afghan security force is not fair and it should be revised.”

The US and Taliban peace deal would lay the ground for a gradual reduction of American troops and would facilitate the intra-Afghan-talks. The agreement was signed after the Taliban had agreed on a weeklong partial ceasefire.

The Taliban said the release of 5,000 prisoners was part of the peace deal with Washington and it was a precondition for the beginning of intra-Afghan-talks

But Kabul administration talked of no intention to release prisoners prior to intra-Afghan-talks, ruling out prisoners exchange as a precondition, but said it could be discussed during Afghan-to-Afghan talks.

The Taliban back regime in 1990s imposed sever restriction against women and freedom of speech. The Afghan women and girl were utterly barred from going to workplaces and schools.

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