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Democracy, freedom of expression red-line in peace talks

In these days, the ongoing peace talks are making hot media topics; either it is a lasting or fragile process; or will it be a challenge to freedom of expression and democracy or will include all the past 18 years’ achievements in the country.

On the other, would the Taliban enter the process with their minds changed or with their previous ideas?

In 2001, when the Taliban hardliners regime was overthrown by the U.S. invasion and Hamid Karzai took power as the president of the transitional government and democracy, as the nascent promising phenomenon entered the society, people opened another chapter in their live, after nearly three decades of war and bloodshed, since the collapse of the Russian supported communist regime in Afghanistan.

Women gained their freedom in some extent and resumed works at the government offices, girls found their way into schools and universities and the country’s image took another color, all including young and old people became hopeful for their future.

In the light of democracy and freedom of expression, people gained good achievements in term of good governance, ensuring justice in civil and political life in the country.

Successfully holding free and fair elections, including presidential, parliamentary, provincial and district councils’ processes have also been the results of the democratic system in the war-suffered nation.

But the militants by the help of aliens once again retuned to the battlefield and resumed fighting the innocent people and imposed war and violence in the country, shortly after few years in the democracy decade, and nearly destroyed all infrastructures of the country.

So, as nowadays, the peace process is going with the Taliban, people sacrifices shouldn’t be ignored and presence of women in media, political and civil arenas should be confirmed.

Women rights and their freedom should be confirmed in the process, as they have made sacrifices and gained more achievements during the last more than 18 years of the democratic system.

Today, Taliban are not ready to talk with Afghan government, and are negotiating with U.S. and recently some agreements have been reportedly made between the two sides.

But this should be noted that Taliban representatives should hold direct talk with the elected government of Afghanistan. Although the U.S. peace efforts are welcomed by the Afghans, as in the recent years both the U.S. and its international partners spent time and money to improve women situation and strengthen good governance in Afghanistan as well as in economic, military and development sectors, but a direct talks between the Taliban and the government would only be working.

Women role in peace talks is very important as they can only propose what they want for their rights and freedom, as the Afghan women are not those in the past, they are educated, advanced and provided with modern technology.

Zarmina Haqjo

 

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The Kabul Times.