Intra-Afghan Conference on Peace: One of Many to Come, Delegates Come Out Positive

Markus Potzel, the German Special envoy for Afghanistan, who, in collaboration with Qatar cohosted the Intra Afghan Conference on Peace, announced that the two sides at the conference engaged in substantive discussions over the course of two days. They covered several issues and topics concerning Afghans including women rights and minority rights, as well as ceasefire and foreign troop withdrawal along with talks of Afghanistan’s political future.
Potzel assured that the sides agreed that this dialogue shall continue.

Nader Nadery, the chairman of Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan, who attended the conference in personal capacity, is of the opinion that the Intra-Afghan dialogue was an important platform for the people of the country to voice their grievances and concerns and aspirations. “The Taliban heard many stories of pain and destruction, echoed by majority of the participants”, Nadery wrote on Twitter.

Mr Nadery informed that except the Taliban, the majority of the parties emphasized their support for keeping the constitutional Republic in Afghanistan.
”We reached some common ground, partially reflected n final declaration. TB did not positively response to d calls for immediate ceasefire; they also did not agree on call for a RESPONSIBLE withdrawal of foreign forces. They could not agree on denouncing & ousting foreign fighters/ terrorists”, he explained.

However Nadery clarified that at the conference, the Taliban has refused to recognize and respect Afghanistan’s current international commitments, specially those commitments pertaining to women’s rights. “We hope these would be subject of discussion and agreement in negotiations with government soon.”, he conceded.

Another delegate at the conference, Khalid Noor, expressed that the intra-Afghan dialogue happening now on Doha is a positive step towards solving Afghanistan’s differences & advocating for Afghans’ shared goals for a united and prosperous Afghanistan. “This helps us to understand each other more. We need to build national and regional consensus, raise our people’s redlines, concerns and demands in order to have a shared common sense. Afghanistan has gained a lot over the last 18 years & we must preserve them” he wrote on Twitter.
He said that the talks are unique opportunities for speaking face to face & sorting some of the differences out and assured that they raised some important issues here.
The former Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Ershad Ahmadi also thanked German Special Envoy Markus Potzel for organising the conference, and said that Important progress was made on preserving the national institutions, ensuring rights of Afghan citizens, reduction of violence & continuation of intra Afghan talks to achieve sustainable peace.

Fawzia Koofi, who is a former MP and chairperson of Afghan Commission for Women, civil society and human rights expressed that the conference was a solid 14 hours of work with a very diverse group of my compatriots, agreeing on issues vital to Afghanistan future. “Glad to see common understanding on difficult issues. The conference itself was a success in pursuing peace agenda”, she wrote on Twitter.

Former finance minister Dr Omar Zakhilwal also said that the Conference was indeed was a major step forward in efforts for a comprehensive peace in Afghanistan.

Finally, Hekmat Khalil Karzai conceded that the dialogue in Doha had frank and emotional exchanges which were respectful, “All cried when a brave woman shared our collective pain and held everyone accountable”.

He assured that while there were talks of past, others looked at the future as an opportunity and hope And that this dialogue brought everyone all closer and also gave a better understanding of the issues at stake. “What is crucial is that we were able to related and why wouldn’t we? At the end, we are all AFGHANS”, Karzai wrote.

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