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2020-09-20 › Taliban Want 'Islamic System' of Government as Focal Point of Afghan Talks


Members of the Taliban delegation are seen at the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in Doha, Qatar, Sept. 12, 2020.
Abdullah Abdullah (C), chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, speaks with members of delegations at the end of a session during peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in Doha, Qatar, Sept. 12, 2020.
U.S. soldiers load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2019.
ISLAMABAD - Delegates of Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban continue finalizing “rules of negotiations” for a power-sharing deal a week after the two foes launched their historic U.S.-brokered direct peace dialogue.

Meanwhile, battlefield hostilities between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents continued to inflict heavy casualties on both sides and deepen a mutual trust deficit at the negotiating table.

Airstrikes carried out by Afghan forces against Taliban positions in northeastern Kunduz province Saturday reportedly killed at least 12 civilians and injured 10 others. Defense ministry officials said the attack killed more than 40 insurgents and that investigations into reports of civilian casualties were underway.

A Taliban statement said the airstrikes killed 23 civilians, including women and children, and injured 17 others. It was not immediately possible to verify claims made by either side.

The insurgents have rejected calls for a cease-fire until they negotiate a broader political deal over the future of Afghanistan in the dialogue being hosted by Qatar.

The two negotiating teams have held daily meetings but have shared few details about the intra-Afghan dialogue that began September 12 in Doha, the Qatari capital.

In a weekly commentary published Saturday, the Taliban insisted they have, from the outset, called for the establishment of an “Islamic system” of governance in Afghanistan to be a “focal point of discussions."

The radical group asserted it “believes” the Islamic system could only bring peace and solve problems facing Afghanistan, including corruption and other crimes.

The Taliban denounce the existing Afghan ruling system as illegal and a product of what they call America’s occupation of the country.

The Afghan government vehemently defends the political system as "fully Islamic” and has vowed not to compromise on it in the discussions with the insurgent interlocutors.

The peace negotiations in Doha are an outcome of the deal the U.S. signed with the Taliban in February to withdraw about 8,600 American troops remaining in the country by May 2021 and close out America’s longest war.

Trump’s take on Taliban

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump described the Taliban as “tough” and “smart," saying his administration was dealing well with the insurgents.

“We’ll be down very shortly over the next couple of weeks to 4,000 — less than 4,000 [service members] in Afghanistan. And then we’ll make that final determination a little bit later on,” Trump told reporters.

“We’re dealing very well with the Taliban. They’re very tough, they’re very smart, they’re very sharp. … So, we’re having some very good discussions with the Taliban, as you probably heard. … And so, we’ll be out of there, knowing that certain things have to happen — certain things have to be fulfilled,” Trump underscored.

A U.S.-led foreign military alliance invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban from power days after the September 11, 2001, terror strikes on the U.S. that al-Qaida leaders orchestrated from their Afghan sanctuaries.

Trump is seeking re-election November 3, and eliminating what he often denounces as America’s “endless war” in Afghanistan has been a key campaign promise.

The Afghan war has cost Washington the lives of more than 2,400 U.S. service members and hundreds of billions of dollars.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week cautioned that intra-Afghan negotiations would be a “difficult” process, but would help reduce the cost of war for the U.S.

A recent survey by the nonprofit Eurasia Group Foundation found strong public support among Republican and Democratic voters for Trump administration-backed peace talks to end the 19-year-old U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The U.S.-Taliban pact binds the insurgents to disallow international terrorism from Afghan soil and engage in peace talks with rival Afghan factions to end the deadly conflict.

источник › https://www.voanews.com



2020-09-19 › 75% of Surveyed Afghans in Favor of Republic


A survey by a Kabul institution of 4,912 Afghans taken by phone conversations across the country indicates that 75 percent of the respondents prefer a republic-style government as an outcome of the ongoing peace negotiations in Doha.

Issues related to the intra-Afghan peace negotiations were discussed with respondents in this brief mobile phone survey by the Heart of Asia Society.

The survey was conducted with respondents in 31 provinces (20% female and 80% male) except Nuristan, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces.

Respondents were asked to list their top three priorities for intra-Afghan peace negotiations.

According to the survey, the 79% of the respondents cited peace/security, 28% cited human rights issues, 21% cited economic development, 19% cited women’s rights, 9% cited freedom of speech and youth rights, 7% cited rule of law, and 7% cited education as their top priority for the intra-Afghan negotiations that started last week.

In this survey, respondents were asked which governance system they prefer as an outcome of the peace negotiations: Islamic emirate, an Islamic republic, a mixture of the two, or if they had no preference?

75% of the respondents said they prefer a republic system, 7% said they prefer an emirate, 6% said a mixture of the two, and 11% said they have no preference.

After controlling for age, education, and income, analysis shows that men were significantly more likely than women to prefer an emirate, and those with high school or university level education were more likely than those with less education to prefer a republic, the survey shows.

When asked whether the current constitution should continue to be used as the basis of legal structures and laws following the peace agreement, 32% of respondents said yes, 25% said no, and 32% said that it should be used, but needs to be changed or amended; 10% said they don’t know, the survey indicates.

On the use of Afghanistan’s current constitution to be used as basis of the legal structures of the country, men (32%) were slightly more likely than women (29%) to say yes, and women (14%) were more likely than men (9%) to say they don’t know, but men and women had relatively similar responses to “no” (26% and 23% respectively) and “yes, but needs changes” (31% and 33% respectively).

Opinions on whether or not the constitution should remain in place do not clearly align with preferred system of government, and those who state a preference for an emirate do not necessarily reject the current democratic constitution, the survey says.

Almost half of respondents (47%) said foreign troop presence is not necessary to guarantee the implementation of a peace agreement, the survey says.

The survey also indicates that 37% of the respondents said foreign troop presence is not necessary to guarantee the implementation of a peace agreement, 9% said it may be helpful, and 6% said they don’t know.

When controlling for other factors, older respondents were more likely to think the presence of foreign troops is necessary to guarantee peace, while younger respondents think their presence is unnecessary, the survey says.

Female respondents were more likely to think the presence of foreign troops may be helpful, while male respondents were more likely to report the presence of foreign troops is not necessary, according to the survey.

Overall, respondents were most likely to say that Taliban fighters should be integrated with the national security forces (45%) or that they should be disarmed (42%), with 7% saying they don’t know and 5% saying they should stay as they are.

Multivariate analysis shows that older respondents and women were more likely to say the Taliban fighters should stay as they are after a peace agreement, while men were more likely to say the Taliban fighters should be integrated into the national security forces, the survey indicates.

According to the survey, when asked about their preference for women’s role in politics after a peace agreement, respondents were significantly more likely (58%) to say women should have a greater role than to say they should have the same role (19%) or a lesser role (14%).

Female respondents were more likely to support a greater or the same role for women in politics after a peace agreement, while younger male respondents were more likely to oppose a greater role for women in politics, the survey says.

The survey also says that respondents with high school or university education were more likely than those without any education to think the role of women should stay the same, while those with university education were more likely to support an even greater role for women in politics, after controlling for the effects of age, gender, and income.

The survey comes as the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is in Doha and has held few meetings with the Taliban’s negotiating team to discuss the rules and regulations of the peace talks.

источник › https://tolonews.com

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