By: Suraya Raiszada
Afghanistan media outlets have made continued effort to create understanding, tranquility and peace in accordance to their human and national commitment. As now intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban negotiating teams have started, local media outlets have perceived their responsibility to reflect reports on ongoing peace efforts; therefore, we can say that role of local media outlets in the country’s peace process and continued war is effective.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, director of Journalists Safety Commission Sediqullah Tawhidi said the intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban negotiating teams are not the debate between two individuals or parties but they a debate of the whole nation of Afghanistan; therefore, it is the responsibility of local media to precisely reflect any developments regarding the country’s peace to the people.
“Media outlets are playing as bridge between the government and people; therefore, it is the duty of media to make effort to aware the public of developments of peace talks and reflect them neutrally,” Tawhidi said, adding that the media should share the people’s demands with negotiating teams particularly the Taliban.
Considering freedom of expression, freedom of mass media, women rights and rights of all citizens as points that should not be ignored in peace talks, Tawhidi stressed these are a range of achievements for which the media will defend till last stages of peace talks.
“Today’s generation with their experiences and higher education in media are demanding freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and civil society and want to be further active in peace process as the door for peace is now open,” Tawhidi said, stressing that increasing violence should be reduced in the country.
Farida Nikzad, director for the protection of Afghan women journalist, in her interview with The Kabul Times correspondent said local media outlets can play vital role in intra-Afghan talks and reflect all peace-related issues in the region and world.
“Local media outlets should promote positive mentality between negotiating teams and our people suffering from point of psychological,” Mrs. Nikzad said, adding that local media can make use of reconciliatory and peace words and avoid words causing deadlock in peace and further violence and gaps between the two respective teams.
Pointing that local media much reflect war news rather than progress being made in peace process, Mrs. Nikzad asked local media for inviting analysts and experts who can talk about peace and reconciliation rather than disputes and war.
Meanwhile, a journalism faculty lecturer Sayed Mustafa believes that a range of news reports and issues reflected by local media harm psychological and physical security of individuals and result in creating insecure environment in the society.
Pointing to effective role of local media in Afghanistan peace and war, Sayed Mustafa said people would further turn to reconciliation and peaceful environment if news directors of local media outlets deliver their news reports and programs in accordance to balance and neutrality to the people.
He considered ending the continued war and violence as responsibility of all the people of Afghanistan particularly local media, stressing that public minds would soon turn to peaceful living and environment if local media is operating towards peacefulness.
It is worth mentioning that currently hundreds of media outlets (print and audio and visual) are operating in Afghanistan where freedom of expression and open activity of media outlets are considered as key achievements of the government.