The undersigned diaspora Afghanistan civil society organizations, has written a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to draw his attention to the present and escalating threats to the rights and physical security of Shi’a Hazaras and other vulnerable minorities in Afghanistan.
In the letter, it was requested from the office US Secretary General to urge participating states and organizations at the upcoming 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva (henceforth the Geneva Conference) to place the protection and promotion of minority rights at the centre of UN peace efforts and development programs in Afghanistan.
The civil society organizations expressed deep concerns about the growing target attacks on Hazara civilians in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan in recent years.
The letter insists on the request that the UN urge the participating states and organizations at the Geneva Conference to recognize that the intra-Afghan peace process must preserve and advance the security and fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens of Afghanistan, particularly the Shi’a Hazaras and other minorities in the joint political declaration.
For instance, the Taliban delegation in Doha has resisted efforts to recognize the Jafari jurisprudence of Islam within the framework of Hanafi jurisprudence as the primary reference in the code of conduct for the Intra-Afghan Negotiations.
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“We fear that this reveals the Taliban’s discriminatory attitudes and the group’s intention to establish a discriminatory political regime based on a sectarian exclusion in Afghanistan. While the Hanafi jurisprudence, which is followed by the majority of the citizens of Afghanistan and is known for its rich history of religious tolerance, is not a source of concern, the Taliban’s interpretation of the jurisprudence and its implications for the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Afghanistan, including the rights of minorities and women, is cause for serious concern,” the letter reads.
They asked the UN and the broader international community to join in urging the Taliban to declare that they are committed to recognising and observing the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Afghanistan, including the religious rights of Shi’a Hazara; and that they reject any discrimination against all groups based on religion, gender, ethnic identity, and other group-based attributes.
They repeated their call on the UN to continue its important role in mobilizing and maintaining strong international support for a democratic and inclusive system of governance to ensure enduring peace, prosperity, and self-reliance in Afghanistan.