Afghanistan Talk Series" Peace Talk"
3 Feb 2021
NCDP held its third dialogue with Afghan youths, titled Afghanistan Talks series “peace Talks,” on 3 Fabruary 2021, in Kandahar province. The dialogue brought together over 140 participants from across different parts, segments, and sectors, discussing the imminent and critical issues related to the Afghan peace talks. In this dialogue, the participants were organized into ten discussion groups of 15 members, each group discussing one out of ten themes proposed for discussion. The groups were given the required time to discuss, summarize and conclude their shared understanding and perception about the given theme. Subsequently, each group shared its concerns, aspirations, and demands with the Islamic Republic’s negotiating team and other participants. Members of the negotiating team talked about their thoughts, plans and answered the questions raised by the participants. This dialogue enabled the peace negotiation team to hear and understand Afghan youths’ concerns, aspirations, and demands regarding the peace process. It also allowed the Kandahar’s youths to listen and understand the negotiating team’s thoughts and perceptions about the peace talks. In this dialogue, the negotiating team members supported the desires and demands of youths, promising to represent and share them with the other side on the negotiation table. The themes discussed in this dialogue included:
- Reintegration of the armed forces and fighters
- Transitional Justice
- Human rights
- Women’s and Children’s Rights
- Freedom of Speech
- Martyrs and War Victims
The Afghan peace talks: Anxieties, aspirations, and demands of Afghan youths
The participants discussed the lack of progress in the peace talks and continuing high level of violence, asking both parties to negotiate to reach a negotiated agreement as soon as possible and end the ongoing destructive war.
The participants stated that all Afghans yearn for peace and demand an immediate cease of hostilities between parties to the conflict. The participants pointed out that “an immediate ceasefire is our long-lasting wish to enable us to work and visit our relatives in different parts of the province.” The longer the conflict, the more destruction, complexion, and desperateness it brings to the Afghans. Therefore, they asked the negotiating teams to accelerate the peace talks, establish a comprehensive ceasefire and end the current war.
In the meantime, they stressed that the country’s achievements in the last two decades, including human rights, women’s and children’s rights, freedom of speech, the rights to education and work for women, should be protected and guaranteed in the peace agreement, the future constitution and government.
They also voiced their concern about compromise over the country’s democratic system. The majority of the participants asked the Islamic Republic’s negotiating team to vigorously protect and preserve the democratic values and principles evolved over the last two decades in the country.
The main takeaways from the discussion
- The negotiating teams have to resume the peace talks as soon as possible to reach an agreement for bringing lasting and inclusive peace to the country
- The participants asked the negotiating teams and the parties to the conflict to reach an agreement on establishing a comprehensive ceasefire to bring normalcy in the everyday living of the people; to enable them to travel and work; to protect the lives of innocent people.
- All participants stressed the protection and preservation of the country’s achievements in the last two decades, especially the human rights, freedom of speech, civil liberties for all Afghanistan, particularly women, the rights to education, and work for women.
- Participants also stressed the importance of the democratic system of the country in ensuring lasting peace in the country and asked the negotiating teams not to compromise over the democratic values and principles that evolved during the last two decades in the country.
This dialogue was organized on the controversial and important topics related to peace talks. The views and suggestions of the participants were recorded and heard by the Peace Negotiation Committee. Finally, members of the Islamic Republic’s negotiating team pledged to share these ideas and demands in negotiating with the Taliban. NCDP will continue to organize the Afghanistan Talk Series “Peace Talk” in other provinces by bringing together young people and members of the negotiating team involved in peace talks with the Taliban to find ways to achieve lasting peace through dialogue.
On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in Cooperation with National Center for Dialogue and Progress (NCDP) organized the launching