The Full text of the Afghanistan women’s perspective on US peace proposal, covering guiding principles for Afghanistan strength, transitional government of peace and political roadmap, permanent and comprehensive ceasefire as well as suggestions.

Introduction:

The Afghan women, equal to their male counterparts, making half of the population, deserves and owns equal stake in the peace process. They are entitled to share their views on any proposal, decision or action taken by the parties involved in Afghan Peace Process. Also, the Government of Afghanistan, the High Council for National Reconciliation, the Taliban, the United States and the International Community also have a legal and humanitarian responsibility to take into account the views of women in all their proposals, decisions and actions and ensure Afghan women active participation by any mean, accordingly.
Therefore, Ministry of Women Affairs have collected the view of women from different figures, including lawyers, politicians, women’s rights and civil society activists, the Afghan Women’s Network, academia, journalists, entrepreneur and minorities. and compiled these viewpoints and analysis on US Peace Proposal. They hope it will contribute to ensure an inclusive and sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
Even though there are some positive and noteworthy points in the proposal, there are ambiguities in the proposal as well. Not only, they don’t help the establishment of the principles for ensuring good governance, security and rule of law, contrarily to some extent it has not reflected the realities of Afghan society and the efforts made by people and the government of Afghanistan in the last twenty years in these aspects. Therefore, it may face all institutions with a risk of collapse. The scheme of 50 – 50 share in government (with a completely different and sometimes conflicting views) in the so-called (peace government), will provide a ground for internal conflicts. In below, the strengths and weaknesses of the three sections proposed in the proposal will be discussed and followed by our suggestions and recommendations.

Part 1: Guiding Principles for the Future of Afghanistan Strengths:

• Recognition of the right to security for all ethnicities, tribes and religions
• Supporting the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people, as well as supporting Islamic values, social and political justice, national unity and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan
• Emphasis on guaranteeing the rights of women and children in political, social, economic, educational and cultural affairs in the upcoming Afghanistans Constitution • Emphasis on preserving and strengthening national institutions of Afghanistan and other public institutions, including educational and security • Keeping in mind the transitional justice and victims of the past 42 years war

Weaknesses and Ambiguities:

• Ignoring the current constitution and emphasizing on drafting of a new constitution. While the current constitution is one of the best constitutions in the region, it only needs to be amended in some cases. There is also a mechanism for its amendment in the constitution. In addition, so far, more than hundreds of laws and regulations have been formulated, endorsed and applied based on this constitution, as by the abandon of the constitution, all legal bases of the performance of institutions and different sections of society will face serious challenges and unavoidable delays.

Part 2: Transitional Government of Peace and Political Roadmap

Strengths:

• Emphasizing and recognizing on separation of powers, including government, parliament and judiciary
• Emphasizing on fair appointments based on meaningful participation of women and members of all ethnicities in all government institutions

Weaknesses and Ambiguities:

• In a country where administrative, governmental and security institutions have just been revived, the proposal of an interim government (transitional peace) means ignoring all institutional achievements. Moreover, the proposal of a transitional government seems reasonable in countries that lack government infrastructure, national institutions and democratic organizations; not in Afghanistan where, despite shortcomings and limitations the people and the government have worked so hard to maintain and strengthen the semi democratic structure of democracy.
• 50-50 power-sharing between the Taliban (a terrorist group with little public support) and the government, politicians, political parties, influential groups of people, youth and women is unfair and irrational.
• The second options with regard to the National Assembly (Parliament) and the Provincial Councils, which they want to suspend the activities of the mentioned institutions and at the same time raise the issue of their privileges, salaries and safety; considering the current situation of Afghanistan, it is unreasonable, rejected and is based on the spirit of ransom.
• Lowering the status of the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution (ICOIC) to an advisory role to the Supreme Court has brought the status of the Commission under questions.

• Recognizing Civil Dispute Resolution through non-governmental channels; without necessary support and legal basis, will only pave the way for strengthening desert courts, coercion and unjustly imposed decisions; especially for women.
• The activity duration of the Supreme Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and how to elect and dismiss its members is unknown. Similarly, it does not mention anything about religious and gender composition.

Part Three: Permanent and Comprehensive Ceasefire

Strengths:

• Commitment of the Parties to end all military and offensive operations and hostile activities;
• Identifying prohibited violent provocations;
• Predicting Ceasefire Implementation and Monitoring Commission with the presence of 3 independent international observers.

Weaknesses and Ambiguities :

This proposal calls on the Taliban to commit to moving its military structures and offices from neighboring countries to Afghanistan, while the Taliban must commit to dissolve their military structures so that in the next step after complete disarmament of the Taliban fighters, they are integrated into the body of the security system of the country based on a specific and agreed mechanism.

Suggestions:

  1. The current Constitution shall remain in force and the Commission that will be created by representatives of both Parties shall work on its amendment;
  2. In order to prevent any failure in governance, which will only affect the people of Afghanistan, the current government must continue to function until early elections are held by the United Nations. Whereas, with the only difference that a certain percentage of government positions are given to the Taliban;
  3. The Taliban may introduce a number of their representatives to the National
    Assembly and Senate until the next election;
  4. The composition of the Supreme Council of Islamic Jurisprudence shall consist of all Islamic sects and gender composition shall also be observed in it. At the same time, the duration of the council, the manner of electing and dismissing its members; as well as, their duties must be specific so that the independence of the three branches judiciary, legislature and executive is maintained and the activity of the Supreme Council of Islamic Jurisprudence does not disrupt the work of the three branches.
  5. At the same time, the term of office of the council, the manner of electing and dismissing members, as well as their duties must be clear so that the independence of the three branches: legislative, executive and judicial are protected and the activity of the Supreme Council of Islamic Jurisprudence does not disrupt the work of the three branches;
  6. Both sides (the Taliban and the government) must commit to the presence of at least 30% of women in all institutions, departments, commissions and committees, and the Taliban must commit to introduce female representatives to attend and participate.
  7. Both sides (the Taliban and the government) must commit that after the new elected government takes the office, the perpetrators of war crimes will be brought to justice and the culture of impunity will end;
  8. Women representatives from both sides must be present in the Ceasefire Implementation and Monitoring Commission;
  9. The International Community and the countries involved in the Afghan Peace Process; especially, the United States of America, guarantee that the Taliban will abide by their commitments.

News Id: E17224