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Ghani adviser claims Taliban are not invested in peace

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2021)

Waheed Omer, President Ashraf Ghani’s advisor and director general of the Office of Public and Strategic Affairs said on Saturday the Taliban must first fulfil its obligations made in the past before laying down new demands.

Speaking at a press conference Omer said that in the past two years the Afghan government has taken six major steps towards peace, but this has not been reciprocated by the Taliban.

“The Taliban has not taken even a small step towards peace over the last two years,” Omer said.

“Instead of imposing new conditions, they [Taliban] must fulfill their past commitments,” Omer added.

Omer also emphasized that peace based on a deal between several politicians or “elite peace” will not be sustainable.

Taliban members have said they are willing to enter into talks with a new administration if Ghani steps down, but the president has rejected the idea of an interim government, which he said Friday just leads to bloodshed – as experienced in the past.

“We have to agree on the election date that there is a legitimate way to transfer power, we had transitional governments, which led to bloodshed,” Ghani said.

However, experts say that any pursuit of supremacy by the Taliban and the government will completely thwart the peace efforts.

“The Presidential Palace must be convinced that fortunately or unfortunately an interim government is coming. In my view, an interim government has many advantages over a merged government which includes the Taliban,” said former water and energy minister Ali Ahmad Osmani.

“In Afghanistan, there is a need for a national reconciliation between the two sides of the war, until the two sides stop fighting and seeking supremacy, there will be no peace in Afghanistan,” said Tariq Farhad, a former presidential adviser.

Meanwhile, State Ministry of Peace Affairs says the Taliban is not willing to sit down at the negotiating table.

“The other side is not yet ready to sit at the negotiating table, so the consequences of civilian casualties as a result of the ongoing war and violence are on those who are delaying the peace process,” said Najia Anwari, the ministry’s spokeswoman.

Meanwhile the president’s adviser Omer also said that the Taliban negotiators are not showing any interest in holding meetings with the Afghan Republic’s peace talks team in Doha after negotiations resumed early this month following a three week break.

“Our war with the Taliban is over values. We are ready to be convinced or to convince them. Our hope is that the Taliban will participate in Doha and focus more on talks,” Omer said.

However, the peace talks in Doha have stalled and face an uncertain fate. Each side accuses the other of obstructing the process and making excuses.

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UN’s special rapporteur in Afghanistan to assess human rights situation

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2022)

Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan is currently in the country and has already met with the IEA’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Bennett who is in Afghanistan on a 10-day visit, is expected to engage with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials, international and national representatives of NGOs and other organizations, members of civil society and other stakeholders to discuss the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

The IEA meanwhile said Bennett provided information on the purpose of his visit to Muttaqi at their meeting and outlined his mission.

Muttaqi briefed Bennett on the religious and cultural values and cultural characteristics of the Afghan people so that he could take this into consideration while assessing the situation.

In a recent statement, ahead of his arrival in Afghanistan, Bennett said he would engage with the authorities and a broad range of stakeholders to assess the situation of human rights, including with regard to the implementation of obligations under international human rights instruments ratified by Afghanistan, and to offer assistance to address and prevent violations and abuses.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council. Bennett, who was appointed on April 1, official resumed duties on May 1.

Bennett will also conduct field visits while in Afghanistan and will deliver his findings in a report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly later in the year.

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IEA approves working process to bring exiled Afghan politicians home

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

Organization procedures for the commission tasked with getting Afghan politicians and former government officials living abroad to return home have been approved by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the commission is expected to start work soon.

It was decided at a recent meeting that the commission’s operational procedures will be announced at a special ceremony in the near future.

“In this commission, all faces, whether women or men, will be contacted, and everyone’s return plan is ready for the patriotic figures to be returned,” said Hassan Haqyar, a close allie of the IEA.

But some political activists have raised questions about the future of any returning exiled Afghans.

The have asked if the politicians for instance will be allowed to carry on with work as previously or whether they will have to give up politics and find another occupation.

The same goes for former government employees.

“We call on the Emirate, in order to implement the plan of this commission, to facilitate the work and activity of these figures again, and there must be a guarantee for everyone who returns, because everyone must see themselves in the mirror of the government,” said Sayed Jawad Hussaine, political analyst.

However, Iran, which hosts a number of former politicians has once again called for the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Recently, Anas Haqqani, a member of the commission, said that about 50 former government officials have so far returned to Afghanistan and that efforts are underway to bring back other political figures.

The meeting of the Commission for the Return of Politicians and Former Government Officials was meanwhile convened shortly after former President Hamid Karzai was ordered to not leave the country.

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India mulls reopening embassy in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

India is exploring the possibility of reopening its embassy in Afghanistan, but without high-level diplomatic representation, an Indian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A team of Indian security officials visited Kabul in February to assess the situation, the Indian Express reported.

The paper said that the embassy will likely function only with personnel for liaison purposes that may extend to consular services.

India, like many other countries, closed its embassy in Kabul after the Islamic Emirate took over Afghanistan on August 15 last year.

Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran were the only countries that did not close their embassies in Kabul during the takeover.

Some 16 countries have now reopened their embassies in Kabul.

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