Afghanistan

Afghans remain hopeful in peace process despite the many challenges

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MAIDAN WARDAK – Panellists in a series of UN-backed radio programmes across Afghanistan’s central provinces remain hopeful, despite all the many challenges and obstacles, that latest peace efforts will result in a final settlement ending decades of war.

“Both sides should deliver on what the people of Afghanistan want: peace, not conflict,” said Abdul Qayyum on Wardak Ghag FM. “If the Government and Taliban want to reach peace, they will have to bargain, negotiate and compromise.”

Maidan Wardak civil rights activist, Hosai Omari, said she expects a peace settlement where justice, equality, civil rights and the rights of women will be central.

“The rights of women should be identical to those of men as stipulated in both Islam and the Afghan constitution,” stated Omari. “We expect the negotiating teams to respect and uphold that.”

Participants in the broadcasts in Maidan Wardak, Logar, Kapisa, Parwan and Panjshir, further urged Afghans to get involved in peace discussions in their communities so that their voices are heard, and their issues echoed in the negotiations.

Across the country, many Afghans support the peace talks and are hopeful that a new chapter awaits. Nonetheless, many have also expressed fear and uncertainty of what the peace deal might look like, fearing setbacks to the many achievements and basic freedoms of the last 20 years, notably women’s rights, freedom of expression and human rights.

Organized by the UNAMA Central Region Field office, the radio series seeks to promote greater understanding of the ongoing peace process, as well as provide platforms for Afghans, particularly young people and women to discuss and make their recommendations to the negotiations in Doha.

UNAMA works with various institutions and individuals, including media stations, religious leaders, provincial councils, community leaders, youth groups and women to create platforms – using radio, social media, and television – for Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.