Danish cautions against compromise over past gains
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Afghan and US officials on Saturday stressed the protection of achievements made over the past 15 years, particularly women’s gains, during the peace negotiations with the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA).
The HIA, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and the Afghan government, after two months of negotiations, finally agreed on a draft peace agreement. The draft agreement would go into effect after being signed by Hekmatyar and President Ghani.
Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, addressing a two-day Third International Symposium on Women Empowerment in Afghanistan, said: “The quadrilateral meetings and the draft agreement signed between the HIA and the High Peace Council (HPC) are hopeful for Afghanistan.”
He said they supported the draft deal and would not comment in negative like others did, keeping in mind the bitter past.
The fifth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process was held in Islamabad Wednesday.
The group reiterated that violence served no purpose and peace negotiations remained the only option for a political settlement in Afghanistan and urged the QCG countries to use their respective leverages and influence in this regard.
Danish hoped peace and stability would pave the ground for justice and law enforcement as well as women’s rights observation and better livelihood for Afghans.
However, the second VP added achievements of the past 15 years in areas of freedom of speech, democracy, elections, human rights, particularly women’s rights should never be compromised for the sake of peace.
“We all know peace can help empower women, therefore we should support the peace process using all our resources.”
Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, responding to a question about the QCG meeting, said the government’s doors for peace negotiations were always open.
“We hope member countries of the QCG would decisively cooperate in making the peace process a success,” he said, adding that women were also participated in the peace process and played their role in HPC’s decisions.
To another question about people’s concern regarding the past achievements in the wake of a looming peace deal with the HIA, Rabbani replied: “The government has three conditions for peace deals, the first is recognising the Afghanistan Constitution, the second is cutting relations with terrorists and the third is to shun violence.”
First Lady Rula Ghani, responding to a similar question, said: “Do you want peace, peace is made place with enemy not with friend, it is my answer.”
Richard Olson, US’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan ,who was also present in the occasion, said the US supported solutions to problems facing Afghanistan and the Afghan-led peace process.
About the peace process with HIA, he said: “We support the Afghan government’s honest efforts at bringing stability to Afghanistan.”
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