Over 70 Percent Of Afghans Pessimistic About Peace Talks: Survey

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More than 70 percent of people in Afghanistan are not optimistic about peace talks between government and the Taliban.

Based on a survey conducted by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in 15 provinces, more than 70 percent of those interviewed believe that peace talks between government and the Taliban will fail.

“70.6 percent of the interviewed people said peace talks in Afghanistan have been a failure all the while,” said Ghulam Reza Ebrahimi, a member of the AISS.

Based on the survey, most people are also concerned that human rights and women’s rights will be compromised in the talks. The survey shows that people are also concerned about transparency of the talks.

“62 percent of the interviewees said that women can play an important role in bringing peace and 60 percent believed the situation would deteriorate for women after peace with the Taliban,” said Ali Karimi, another member of the AISS.

Interviewees underlined widespread corruption, weak government, presence of the Taliban, poverty, illiteracy and the presence of local warlords and drug mafia as key obstacles in the way of peace in Afghanistan.

The High Peace Council (HPC), however, stressed people’s rights would be protected in the talks.

Ataur Rahman Saleem, a member of the HPC, said that they want the peace process to protect all rights of Afghans.

“The HPC is committed to protecting the achievements of the past 14 years, particularly women’s rights and freedom of expression,” said Habiba Surabi, another member of the council.

The survey comes at a time when peace talks, scheduled to start in the first week of March, appear to have stalled.

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