Afghanistan could “return to chaos” with the incorrect peace deal, say women’s rights groups in the nation. A poorly negotiated agreement without the need of right representation of Afghan citizens and a clear counterterrorism approach would spot the democratic gains of the previous 18 years at danger, says Suraya Pakzad, founder of the Voice of Females Organisation.

Talks involving the US and the Taliban are operating alongside campaigning for twice-postponed presidential elections, now due to take spot on 28 September.

The Taliban have urged a boycott, describing the elections as “nothing far more than a ploy”. Amongst the 18 candidates standing are the incumbent president, Ashraf Ghani, and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Rights groups worry any additional delay or cancellation could danger a return to an emiratic rather than democratic government. Recollections of the Taliban’s six-year rule stay vivid. “We recall, our young children recall, hanging bodies in the street beneath that regime,” says Pakzad. “It’s a type of nightmare for all of us, if we have been to turn to these situations or that scenario exactly where there is no government, no governance, and there is no law that we can rely on.”

Any agreement will not be profitable unless all parties are involved, say activists. To date neither the Afghan government nor Islamic State-affiliated groups have been portion of the talks.





Suraya Pakzad, a women’s rights activist who runs a collection of women’s shelters, in her office in Herat, Afghanistan



Women’s rights activist Suraya Pakzad, who runs a collection of women’s shelters, in her workplace in Herat, Afghanistan. Photograph: Rahmat Gul/AP

“We are exhausted [by] this 40-year-lengthy war. We know the only way is by means of peace negotiations, but without the need of representation by the government and the citizens of the nation, any deal wouldn’t be a very good solution for the individuals of Afghanistan, nor would it construct peace,” says Pakzad.

In spite of the “roadmap for peace” from the Doha talks calling on all sides to cease attacking civilian areas, such as schools, religious centres, mosques and hospitals, there has rather been an intensification of bombings.

Attacks this week in Kabul and Jalalabad additional highlight the challenges for peace developing in the nation.

“The development of Isis is a significant concern,” says Pakzad. The group, whose presence is increasing in the east and north of the nation, claimed duty at the weekend for an attack at a wedding in Kabul, in which 63 individuals died and 180 have been injured.

Negotiators really should appear for a approach that will avert Afghanistan from returning to a “crisis situation”, says Pakzad. “Our geographical location, our geopolitical location is pretty, pretty vulnerable to [becoming] a secure haven for terrorists to regroup and to reestablish right here.”

President Ghani, speaking at an independence day address in Kabul on Monday, referred to as on the international neighborhood to stand with Afghanistan to eradicate militants’ “nests”. Earlier, responding to the wedding attack on Twitter, he mentioned, “Taliban can’t absolve themselves of blame, for they give platform for terrorists.”

Activists worry that the deal at the moment beneath discussion could concentrate on secure withdrawal of foreign troops at the expense of a safe political future of the Afghan individuals. On the table is the prospective release of 13,000 Taliban prisoners, some of whom could turn out to be portion of any future government.

Women’s rights groups stay concerned at their restricted representation in the talks to date and the vague reference to women’s rights getting ensured inside “the framework of Islamic values” in the Doha statement.





A boy walks past a mural on a security barrier wall as the country celebrates its 100th anniversary of Independence Day, in Kabul on 19 August



A boy walks previous a mural on a safety barrier wall as the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of independence day, commemorating the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, in Kabul on 19 August. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Photos

Pakzad fears that without the need of guarantees for the gains accomplished in the previous 18 years, the Afghan individuals “could when once more spend a higher price” for a flawed deal. “We danger getting pushed backwards once more and obtaining to start off once more from scratch.”

Returning from a UN delegation to Afghanistan final month to lend help for “credible” elections, the executive director of UN Females, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, mentioned: “Women have been pretty clear that they do not want a deal to be at the expense of women’s rights. They do not want a trade-off. They want peace with women’s rights.”

“These are extremely achieved girls,” she mentioned, “resilient, capable and prepared to lead. They are concerned that the levels of violence and insecurity in the nation are nonetheless such that one thing extraordinary would have to come about for individuals to really feel safe.”