South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, welcomes all efforts aiming to speed up and enhance the peace process in Afghanistan including the recent meeting in Moscow held on 5th and 6th of February between Taliban and an Afghan delegation comprised of representatives of political parties, MPs, presidential candidates and their deputies, as well as religious scholars. It is hoped that convening such gatherings and their willingness to talk about the future of Afghanistan would ultimately facilitate constructive peace talks.

This meeting comes after talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha on 21 January 2019 which aimed at ending the war with the participation of Afghan government in negotiations for a political settlement of the conflict. SAHR is urging the US to enhance its diplomatic efforts at the regional and international level in exerting needed pressure to Taliban to initiate direct talks with the Afghan Government. SAHR welcomes the statement of the United Nations Deputy Special Representative to Afghanistan on direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan Government, while saying “peace is vital so that the people of Afghanistan can live, not only survive.”

The Taliban organized widespread attacks and committed brutalities towards civilians in Ghanzi province, Kunduz province and Baghlan province recently, when the so called “peace talks” were being held. SAHR believes that these actions negatively impact any planned discussions.

SAHR is also disappointed that there were only two women at the event in Moscow in February. This is amidst the continuous call by Afghan and international civil society to increase and ensure true and meaningful representation of women in the peace process. SAHR believes that prominent political figures, youth, Afghan women and civil society representatives should have a fair representation in the peace process of the country.

Afghanistan remains to be a country fraught with violence and casualties due to terrorism, which increases daily. A lasting peace requires stable foundations to uphold human rights, women’s rights, transparency, accountability and justice.

SAHR believes that this can be only achieved with the Government’s and the Taliban’s genuine commitment for human rights and the rights of victims according to International Law. SAHR reiterates the Afghan people’s request that the United Nations need to take the lead in all peace talks and enhance the peace efforts in Afghanistan.

Therefore SAHR calls upon

  1. The Taliban to end its attacks on civilians, at a time when measures are being taken to restore peace.
  2. Increase women’s and victims’ representation in peace talks which in turn will provide a platform to highlight and overcome the dangers women face in conflict situations as highlighted in the UN Resolution 1325.
  3. All parties who are by any means responsible for the prevailing conflict in Afghanistan to openly commit and uphold respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
  4. The United Nation to actively take the lead in all talks and coordinate efforts for peace in Afghanistan, while urging the regional and Islamic countries to support the peace process in Afghanistan and ensure regional stability.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,

Sultana Kamal

Mohamed Latheef