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Govt urged to use Constitution as a redline in peace talks

“Peace shall not mean compromise but it must be a process to end violence in the country,”—Civil societies

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Responsible Citizen Civic Movement (RCCM) and Transition Justice Coordination Group (TJCG), rights groups, on Wednesday urged the government to respect aspirations of the Afghan nation and use the Constitution as redline in the peace talks.

The groups said that achievements made in the past 14 years should not be compromised in the peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdullah Ahmadi, representing the civil society groups, said the government should establish a ‘transparent’ mechanism with concrete and watchful support to protect the past decade’s achievements particularly the Constitution, human rights, democracy, freedom of speech and women’s rights.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said the government should listen to public especially those who lost their loved ones in the ongoing conflict.

He said that redline should be drawn to secure the gains made since fall of the Taliban’s regime. He added that there should be no compromise over some articles of the Constitution.

Yunus Akhtar, another activist, said that weak standpoint of the High Peace Council (HPC) is troubling the nation as it never succeeded in ending the violence and bringing the insurgent groups to negotiations’ table.

He said the HPC should have condemned the Taliban in the first round of talks for violence, adding that HPC’s political position is worth criticizing because it given privileges to the militant group.

He said that ceasefire is one of the key demands of Afghans, but still it is not clear that whether the group representing the government in peace talks has the capability to bring security and stability to the country, because there are also other terrorists groups like Daesh, Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) in different part of Afghanistan.

“The government shall adopt clear approach when talking to the Taliban. The insurgents shall be forced to apologize for killing innocent people,” he said.

Hodod Pedram said that there is no consensus among high ranking officials of the National Unity Government (NUG) about peace process, which is worrying public.

He said that Pakistan is not honest as there is no end in sight to the ongoing militancy. Pedram said that if Islamabad was sincere then it would have put an end to the cross-Durand Line attacks.

At the end the rights groups issued a resolution asking the government to stress on ceasefire, consider demands of the victims during talks, dissolve the HPC and establish another but effective body for negotiations with insurgents.

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