By: Karima Malikzada
As intra-Afghan talks have already started in Doha and negotiating teams of Afghanistan government and Taliban are talking to end the ongoing crisis in the country, a number of Afghan cultural figures have asked for participation of a cultural representative in ongoing peace talks in Qatar as peace talks are a good opportunity and representatives of all sides and institutions have part, but there is no cultural representative.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, head of Afghanistan National Museum Mohammad Fahim Rahimi said: “We all witness that intra-Afghan talks have started in Qatar and Afghanistan government negotiating team has held several meetings with Taliban negotiating team for the past three weeks, which has increased hopes among the people of Afghanistan for peace in the country.”
He said that Afghanistan government and international organizations particularly UNESCO have made continued efforts to do more for the preservation of the country’s cultural heritages and historic monuments in the past 19 years as various historic monuments have been renovated as Qala-e-Ikhtiaruddin, Babur Garden, Darulaman Palace and others, while a number of others have been slighted or partially damaged due to insecurities and continued war in the country.
“In consideration to cultural activities and number of historic monuments and cultural heritages, it was necessary that a cultural representative would and should be present in intra-Afghan talks to defend the country’s heritages and ask for ending the ongoing war in the country,” Rahimi stressed.
Meanwhile, head of Kabul Public Library Fathullah Waqiyee says fortunately Afghanistan government has made lots of efforts for maintaining peace in the past few years and now it is a good time to resolve all issues in ongoing intra-Afghan talks starting between Afghanistan government and Taliban in Qatar. “I think presence of a cultural representative male or female in ongoing intra-Afghan talks in Qatar is necessary as the past 40-year war has put negative impacts on the cultural section of the country,” Waqiyee said.
Meanwhile, former director of archaeological department Abdul Qadir Timori said peace is one of the desires of Afghanistan people and all the world want Afghanistan to be a stable country, so it is now good that in going intra-Afghan talks, achievements of the people in all areas including cultural should be protected.
“All the time a question is crated in my mind that although the country’s President has paid lots of attention to cultural sector of the country, why a cultural representative has not been introduced as member of the government’s negotiating team,” Timori stressed, adding that ignoring a professional and a real defender of Afghanistan culture in ongoing talks in Qatar is a big blow to the right of the country’s culture. Wajiha Sediqi, head of national museum’s ethnography department says it has been a big blow to the country’s historic and cultural heritages during the civil and continued war in the country.
“Unfortunately there has been no cultural representative in ongoing intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban in Qatar, while presence of a cultural representative has been necessary to share increasing concerns of cultural figures in connection with cultural heritages with the negotiating teams in intra-Afghan talks,” Mrs. Sediqi added.
It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan government particularly President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has always stressed on protection and preservation of the country’s historic and cultural heritages and we hope that position of the country’s culture and cultural figures should be specified in intra-Afghan talks in Qatar.