Women’s role, rights in peace talks stressed
KABUL (PAN): The Afghan Civil Society Organisation Network for Peace (ACSNOP) on Monday claimed the government-initiated peace process lacked transparency because common people had little knowledge about the negotiations.
Addressing a gathering on the "Need for Peace" in Kabul, ACSNOP Director Gulsoom Sattarzai said masses had no access to information about parleys between government and Taliban representatives, with women having low representation in the process.
She said although the government had introduced some women to the High Peace Council under pressure from the international community and civil society, they were being deprived of having their say in making important decisions.
Sattarzai asked the international community to honour its commitments to peace, women’s rights and resolving the ongoing crises in Afghanistan.
A coalition of a hundred of civil society groups, the ACSNOP issued a declaration, asking the government to punish war criminals and ensure the peace talks did not undermine the core national interests.
Without naming anyone, the declaration said: "The government should stop the peace process if the armed opposition has no respect for human rights and doesn’t consider women as half of the country’s populations in social, cultural and economic activities.”
High Peace Council member Hawa Alam Nuristani said the council would send a delegation to Pakistan soon to seek Islamabad’s help in bringing the rebels to the negotiating table. She said the visit had been twice delayed.
She added they had held a series of meetings with the international community about women’s role in making important decisions. Although women had no role in the destruction of the country, they could help restore peace, stability and reconstruction of the homeland.
“The peace process cannot be a success as long as social justice is not ensured and war criminals are not punished,” warned Jamila Omar, a human right activist.
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