Consultative meeting of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with various strata of Badakhshan province

a.zia
Tue, Oct 20 2020 3:32 PM
SMP

The first provincial meeting of the series of meetings of the Negotiating Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with various strata was held today. The meeting was held with the people of Badakhshan province and was organized by the State Ministry for Peace.

In this meeting, Zekria Sawda, Governor of Badakhshan Province, Ahmad Bashir Samim, Chairman of Badakhshan Provincial Council, Chairman of Ulema Council, Chairman of Citizens Council, local officials and directors, religious scholars, Jihadi commanders, members of civil society, influential people, women's rights activists, Freedom of speech activists, youth representatives, disabled, business people and other strata participated from Badakhshan province. Abdul Khaliq Balakarzai, Deputy Minister for Coordination of Tribes and Institutions, Abdullah Khenjani, Deputy Minister of Coordination, Strategy and Policy, Dr. Alema Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Society in the State Ministry for Peace and Elyas Wahdat, Senior Advisor for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance for Public Relations, participated from Kabul. Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace and Member of the Negotiating Team, Fawzia Koofi, Abdul Matin Bek, Sharifa Zurmati Wardak and Khalid Noor, other members of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan participated from Doha.

At the beginning, Zekria Sawda, the governor of Badakhshan said that the people of the province support the peace process and are optimistic about the Afghanistan peace negotiations in Doha.

Mentioning the participation and opinion sharing of the people of Badakhshan in the Consultative Loya Jirga, he said that the people of Badakhshan want a ceasefire or at least a significant de-escalation of violence at first. We expect that the Taliban welcome our demands.

The participants from Badakhshan province, while raising questions, exchanged views on the preservation of the constitution, finalization of the negotiation procedure, preservation of freedom of speech in the post-peace era, human rights of citizens and the disabled, women's rights, especially their political participation, the role of youth in the peace process, Islamic values and establishment of a ceasefire.

The members of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, after receiving the opinions of the participants, answered their questions.

Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace and Member of the Negotiating Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said that the purpose of such meetings is to connect the community in the provinces with the negotiating team so that the peace process is people-centered and in consultation with the influential and elite people.

The State Minister for Peace added that bringing peace requires three major elements of national, regional and international consensus. These three elements have been created, but the peace that takes place in the light of these elements must be lasting, dignified and just. We cannot put the future of Afghans in danger.

He added that the experiences of other countries in the field of negotiation reflect the longevity of the agreement on the framework, but the Afghan peace process is moving very smoothly in that matter.

Fawzia Koofi, a member of the negotiating team, said that the members of the delegation, regardless of their political background, represented the people and the Islamic Republic and acted with common values with a common stance.

She added that political support and internal consensus are crucial to advancing the negotiations by the team. Therefore, provincial contacts are needed. The people of the provinces are the main owners of the peace process and decisions are made with the participation of the people.

Ms. Koofi said that achieving justice for war victims is one of the main goals of the Islamic Republic. We think of all the people of Afghanistan, and those who are living under the control of the Taliban should not be forgotten in achieving justice for the victims.

She added that according to the principles of negotiation until we conclude all the issues, nothing will be agreed upon. In this case, if we do not agree on the issue of women, we will not actually reach a conclusion on anything.

Concerning the negotiation process, Khalid Noor, another member of the negotiating team said that pausing on some issues during the negotiations is not something unexpected. No party is in favor of destroying the process. He added that a serious discussion on disputed matters is a necessity that must take place.

While saying that the delegation is the defender of the values enshrined in the constitution, Sharifa Zurmati Wardak, member of the negotiating team, called freedom of speech one of those values. She added: “One of our main goals is to preserve freedom of speech under the umbrella of the Islamic Republic.” The pause on disputed matters is also because of our insistence on the demands of the people.

Answering a question related to the ceasefire, General Ayub Ansari, member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said that the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has entered into negotiations with full readiness and has studied enough on how to establish a ceasefire.

Abdul Matin Bek, another member of the negotiating team, while providing information about the negotiations, said that the elements that put the members of the negotiating team in the same line are our national interest and our common pains and aspirations. The determination of our people for peace and the changes in Afghan society must be demonstrated to our negotiators.

He added that we need national cohesion inside Afghanistan. We have a long way to go in the peace process. The youth in the negotiating team have a good understanding of youth issues. He also said that the religious scholars who are members of the negotiating team have advanced the relevant issues very well.

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