Over the past few months, as highlighted by a conference on Afghanistan held in London on January 28, 2010, signs have emerged of a concerted and comprehensive effort to engage elements of the insurgency in negotiations, reconciliation and reintegration. In early May, the Afghan government will host a Peace Jirga to build support for their plans to negotiate with insurgent leaders.
Since the fall of the Taliban, many principles of justice and equality have been enshrined into Afghanistan's basic legal framework, even if they have often not been implemented. What are the implications of a peace deal with a movement previously known for oppressing women, ethnic and religious minorities? Will protection of rights be weakened on paper or in practice? Will a proposed blanket amnesty attempt to exclude prosecution of war crimes?How will these issues play out in a national (and international) discussion about the parameters of a peace deal and will all perspectives be sufficiently represented in the process?
- Nader Nadery, Commissioner, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
- Farishta Sakhi, Executive Director, Women's Activities and Social Services Association
- Michael Semple, Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights, Harvard University and author of Reconciliation in Afghanistan (USIP, 2009)
- Noah Coburn, Traditional Justice Specialist, U.S. Institute of Peace
- Anthony Richter, Associate Director, Open Society Institute (welcoming remarks)
- J Alexander Thier, Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. Institute of Peace (moderator)
U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.