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Women crave for greater role in peace talks

AT News

KABUL: A group of Afghan women and civil society activists have asked for their greater role in the ongoing peace efforts—US, and Taliban have held talks for almost one year now, and the Afghan government and the Afghan women, who have suffered a lot, have not been included as of yet.

In a gathering in western Herat province, the women activists said they want their inclusion to monitor what is happening, and make sure their rights would be preserved in any possible peace deal.

Abdullah Ansari, an activist said that US-Taliban peace talks are in fuzzy with no clear image inside that has already caused anxiety among the educated youth.

The activists emphasized over inclusiveness of the talks, where the Afghans must have wider role.

“The participants of this [gathering] discussed the peace process as well as their concerns and demands from the Afghan government, the Taliban and the international community,” an activist Muhammad Jawed Wardak was quoted by TOLOnews, as saying.

“I hope Afghan women should be involved in the peace talks,” another activist Sideqa Nazari said. “Over the past two decades, [Afghan] women have sacrificed a lot to make the current achievements and they do not want to go back.” 

“Women should have a role in the peace process. Unfortunately, women have been marginalized from all important issues; therefore, I am not optimistic about the future of the process,” said Dil Jan Haidari, a women activist in Herat. 

In the wake of revived peace talks between US and Taliban, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad as part of his peace mission recently landed in Kabul following a number of meetings with the Taliban negotiating members in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

Khalilzad’s visit to Kabul is for consultations with Afghan leaders about the US-Taliban peace talks. His trip comes at a time, while according to some sources; the US diplomats have demanded a “ten days” ceasefire as precondition and have warned that the negotiation would be called off if the Taliban won’t agree on it.

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