The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) welcomed the start of the intra-Afghan peace talks and encouraged both, the Afghan government and the Taliban, to agree on a set of guiding principles, on Saturday.
“An initial indicator of success in the talks would be for the parties to identify what we as Afghans have in common in a set of guiding principles,” said the Commission’s Chairperson, Shaharzad Akbar.
“This will build confidence among the negotiators on both sides. I hope that there will be agreement that the main outcomes of the peace process should durable peace in which all Afghans enjoy dignified lives and expansion of opportunities,” she added.
The rights commission suggests that the peace negotiations “recognize and reflect the diversity” of Afghanistan and encourage mutual respect throughout society. It should recognize the expressed wishes of victims and the general population, acknowledging their suffering and humanitarian needs.
“Fundamental human rights for all should be recognized and preserved,” the AIHRC emphasized.
“Recovery will depend on reconciliation and development at the national and community level. The right to justice must be preserved for serious crimes that targeted civilians, including reparations for victims,” they added, encouraging victim-centred justice.
As the talks begin, AIHRC emphasizes, as a principle, the importance of inclusivity and broad and meaningful public participation in the process.
The Commission also referred to their mechanisms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and effectiveness, and urged both parties to endorse them and “ensure a process that engages victims directly, enjoys greater public legitimacy, and represents the concerns and aspirations of all Afghans.”
Finally, the AIHRC urged the international community to give its support to a victim-centred peace process, grounded in respect for Afghanistan’s people and Islamic traditions, including through supporting and fully resourcing the mechanisms outlined above.