• By: Ali Inan

From June 30 to July 1, a significant diplomatic gathering will take place in Doha, focusing on a more coherent, coordinated, and structured international engagement with Afghanistan. This marks the third round of special envoy meetings aimed at addressing the complex challenges the country faces post-U.S. withdrawal.

The exit of U.S. forces has dramatically altered Afghanistan’s political landscape, necessitating innovative and inclusive strategies to address the myriad post-conflict issues. Afghanistan grapples with severe human rights crises, particularly affecting women, girls, and religious and ethnic minorities. Additionally, security concerns, terrorism, narcotics, and social cohesion pose ongoing threats. A

The National Resistance Front (NRF) and various non-armed resistance movements, especially the Afghan women’s movement, have significantly influenced the international community’s stance on the Taliban, keeping global attention on Afghanistan. The path forward demands sustained dialogue, collaboration, and unwavering commitment from all stakeholders to resolve the ongoing crises and broader conflict.

A critical component of progress involves forming an inclusive government that respects citizens’ rights, including the full and equal participation of women in public life. The success of the Doha process, which stems from U.N. Security Council Resolution 2127 and the U.N. independent assessment on Afghanistan, hinges on the involvement of all interested Afghan parties.

The Taliban’s refusal to participate in the second round of Doha talks and their denunciation of Afghan civil society representatives underscore their isolationist stance. Their claim to be the sole legitimate representative of Afghanistan is contested by ongoing protests and widespread resentment, especially from Afghan women facing gender apartheid. Ignoring the voices of Afghanistan’s 30 million citizens in favor of the Taliban’s narrative risks further instability and conflict.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres emphasized that the Doha meetings aim to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a “hotbed” of terrorist activity and to promote inclusive institutions that represent all diverse groups within the country.

To avert further chaos, seizing this opportunity to find a comprehensive solution and foster intra-Afghan dialogue among all conflict parties is crucial. While Afghanistan remains on the U.N. agenda, emerging global crises threaten to divert attention. This shift could be detrimental, as regional governments alone may not adequately address the Taliban issue, potentially leading to disaster for both Afghan citizens and international security. The Doha process must not become another missed opportunity. It must include all factions, including Taliban opposition groups and new, democratic forces advocating for change.

For nearly three years, these forces have been relentless in their political and social activism, particularly championing women’s rights and amplifying Afghan voices under Taliban rule. This generation embodies hope for Afghanistan’s future. Educated during the Afghan Republic, they have diverse experiences in government policy, legal, and reconstruction projects. Despite the Republic’s collapse, they understand Afghanistan’s complex challenges and can offer innovative ideas and new perspectives. Their inclusion in dialogue processes, as recommended by the U.N. assessment and the Vienna process, is essential.

While some view the state-building and democratization efforts of the Afghan Republic as failures, many Afghans, including myself, see it as a period of significant opportunity. As a girl, I had equal access to education and work, leading to my proudest achievement of representing Afghanistan as a diplomat in London. Now, I continue to research, advocate for Afghanistan, and amplify my people’s voices on the global stage. Many Afghans remain hopeful and committed to striving for a better future.

Understanding Afghanistan’s complexities requires a deep appreciation of its history, culture, and political landscape. Over the past two decades, international engagement with Afghanistan has seen both progress and setbacks. Moving forward, a principled and multifaceted approach is essential. This approach should prioritize empowering Afghanistan’s next generation, promoting human rights and democracy, and addressing the root causes of conflict, instability, and extremism. By doing so, we can help build a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, enabling its citizens to contribute to regional and global progress.

Despite numerous challenges, the Afghan people have demonstrated resilience and determination in their quest for a better future. It is our collective responsibility to support them in this mission and to learn from past lessons to create a brighter future for all.

  • The author is a PhD scholar in English Literature, a Lawyer, and an International Relations analyst.

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