The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, confirmed that a delegation representing the Afghan government and people will be going to Doha to meet with the Taliban representatives on April 20th. The 250 member delegation includes 52 women. The Taliban has yet to respond to this development.
President Ghani has stressed that the “representation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan is important because no one can represent the nation outside the framework of the state. The absolute right is that we all represent the entire government and nation.”
Up until now both the Afghan government and Afghan women were not included in the ongoing talks at the request of the Taliban. Afghan women have been demanding inclusion in the peace negations and protesting their exclusion since the talks began in 2018. Afghan women fear losing their hard-won rights, having seen the Taliban continue to commit brutal acts of violence and enforce draconian edicts in the parts of the country they still control.
While the Taliban have continued their negotiations, they have also continued their terrorist attacks. In regions the Taliban controls, they have been destroying girls’ schools. Sunday night, a girls’ school in the western province of Farah with at least 2,000 students enrolled was destroyed. The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Farah provincial council believes the Taliban were behind it.
President Ghani has emphasized the need for Afghanistan to be a united country for peace to be achieved, saying “everyday we witness bloodsheds, suicide, explosions, and bombardments which have harmed our people mentally and psychologically.”
Media Resources: Tolo News 4/17/19; Tolo News 4/16/19; Feminist Newswire 1/29/19