Unilateral Focus on Taliban's Role Leading To Deadlock, Say Taliban Opponents

Thursday, 02/22/2024

In a joint statement following the Doha conference, Afghan political entities and women activists criticised the focus on the Taliban's role in Afghanistan's crisis, arguing that it fosters a political impasse.

They underscored that a comprehensive resolution to Afghanistan's enduring crisis necessitates the active participation of all stakeholders.

The joint statement issued by the National Resistance Front, Islamic Unity Party, Afghanistan Freedom Front, and various Afghan women's protest movements, lamented the Doha meeting's failure to delve into Afghanistan's profound, decades-long issues.

They pointed out that the meeting neglected critical concerns such as human rights, poverty, gender discrimination, and the plight of forced migrants, accusing the Taliban of flouting fundamental human and civil rights.

Addressing UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the special representatives who participated in the Doha meeting, these groups emphasised on Afghanistan's core challenge: reclaiming the citizens' rights to self-determination and human rights, which they claim have been seized by "the clutches of terrorism.”

Released by the National Resistance Front on Wednesday, their statement highlighted the necessity for the UN's acknowledgment that resolving Afghanistan's crisis demands constructive dialogues with all parties involved.

They also criticised the second Doha meeting for its exclusion of Afghan political and societal representatives, which they believe is a critical given the country's diverse ethnic and cultural fabric.

Furthermore, the National Resistance Front and women's protest groups urged the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special representative focused on fostering a democratic, people-centred political framework reflective of the Afghan populace's aspirations. They advocated for a nominee well-versed in Afghan affairs, adhering to neutrality, and capable of independent action in their mandate.

The statement also warned that an exclusive reliance on the Taliban for addressing the current crisis, the appointment of a new UN special representative, and governance could stymie the political process, thereby broadening the range of alternative solutions outside the conventional political discourse.

Despite the Taliban's formal invitation to the Doha conference by the United Nations, the meeting conspicuously lacked participation from any Taliban opposition groups, with the exception of five civil society members, during its proceedings on February 18 and 19.

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