2nd Round of Intra-Afghan Talks; AIHRC Calls for Ceasefire in Afghanistan

As the second round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha begins, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has written a letter to the leadership of negotiation teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban calling for a ceasefire in the country, victims’ rights human rights on the agenda and the need for victims to participate in the peace process.

The letter, released by (AIHRC) on Monday, welcomed the finalization of the Afghan peace negotiation procedures as a major step forward and congratulated the Afghan people and the parties to the negotiations.

The letter from the Afghan Human Rights Commission emphasizes that it is “impatiently” waiting for the return of the negotiating delegations to the negotiating table on January 5 (tomorrow).
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“These talks provide a historic opportunity to end the war and pave the way for lasting peace in Afghanistan,” the Human Rights Commission has written in the letter.

AIHRC says the escalation of violence, civilian casualties and the financial damage inflicted on the people on a daily basis has reduced the hope for peace, violence continues to further harm civilians, including women and children, and to affect public participation in the peace process.

The commission added that the escalation of violence, on the other hand, undermined the active participation of women, the media representatives and religious scholars in the public gatherings.

The letter called on the two sides to set up “joint committees” to look into issues such as ceasefire, monitoring mechanisms on the issue of ceasefire, as well as a joint team to investigate ongoing incidents and violent cases such as targeted attacks, including attacks on journalists and Defend human rights defenders.

The second part of the letter emphasizes that the war in Afghanistan has left millions of civilians victims and that there are millions of widows, orphans and people with disabilities across Afghanistan.

The letter stated that the war has left the neighboring countries and the region affected and that the victims are the reality of Afghanistan who have legitimate rights and demands.

The commission called on both negotiating teams to establish a mechanism to ensure that victims are present at the negotiating table and let their voices to be heard.

Addressing the rights of victims

In addition to the ceasefire and the presence of victims in the talks, the Human Rights commission has written in its letter calling for victims’ rights to be included in the negotiating agenda, saying that victims will play an important role in the reconciliation process.

The Commission emphasized that the inclusion of victims’ rights in negotiations provides the possibility of peace at the community and at the national level, and the Commission, as a national human rights body, strives to support the human rights of all citizens in every national process and to promote and realize their rights.

The Human Rights Commission has stated its readiness to provide expert human rights advice to both parties to the negotiations if necessary.

According to the agreement between the two sides, the second round of intra-Afghan talks is scheduled to start tomorrow in Doha, but the Afghan delegation has not yet arrived in Doha.

Fawzia Kofi, a member of the Afghan negotiating team, said that the delegation’s visit to Doha had been postponed for one day and that the delegation would leave for Doha tomorrow, Tuesday.

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