Dec. 6, 2011, 3:07 p.m.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission released a document outlining Afghan opinions about the peace process. The report built on 78 focus groups held in 31 provinces with more than 1500 Afghan citizens. The report addresses issues such as the need to engage with Taliban, the need to respect human rights and to incorporate regular Afghans in the peacebuilding process. The report includes specific suggestions for the government, the international community, the armed opposition and Afghan civil society. The full document can be found here.
The notion of accountability and the desire of ordinary Afghans to bridge the gap that separates them from their Government was palpable. Many participants expressed the desire to be more involved on matters of peace and the fight against corruption. Men and women alike noted the need for greater unity, better protection for the rights and freedoms of all ethnicities and respect for the equality of men and women in society and in their ability to take part in society.
Participants expressed an eagerness for the international community to continue to play a constructive role in their society, supporting the peace process, the development of Afghanistan in urban and rural areas, demanding accountability for how the aid they provide is used and spent. They noted the international community had a key role in preventing the interference of Afghanistan’s neighbours in matters of peace and in the drive to end the conflict.