Afghans ‘Want Their Dignity Back’: Adela Raz

Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations weighs in on the prospects of continued support for her country and her hopes for preserving women’s rights in the ongoing peace talks aimed at carving a shared political future with the Taliban.
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Adela Raz in a wide-ranging interview with Gandhara said Afghans aren’t willing to compromise on their gains in the peace process because “the new Afghanistan is defined by its pillars of democracy, freedom of expression, political and social freedom, women’s empowerment.”

Speaking on the concern with the peace agenda, Adela Raz said It’s going to be a long road ahead, and this is simply the beginning.

“The overall concern for the majority of Afghan women and the younger generation is that we must make sure we protect what we have achieved in the last two decades. That’s what our call is: not to lose what we have earned,” she said.

“As a government official, I can say our stand is very strong and we will not compromise on the gains we have earned because the new Afghanistan is defined by its pillars of democracy, freedom of expression, political and social freedom, women’s empowerment — this is what makes the new Afghanistan different from the Afghanistan of two decades ago. And we are very clear that this is something we not only want to protect but we want to advance further,” Adela Raz asserted.

She noted that before the UN secretary-general had even raised the issue of ceasefire issue globally, the government of Afghanistan had been saying we need a cease-fire, a reduction in violence, and an end to the conflict.

“I don’t think there is miscommunication. The Taliban have simply never reciprocated our call, and we’ve been on a defensive posture responding to violence rather than initiating attacks. This is something we need to ask the Taliban, and they haven’t been able to tell us,” she added.

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