Women must be in 'every part' of Taliban peace process, Afghan President says

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says women must be part of any peace process with the Taliban, a factor that could dash...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 12:46 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 12:46 AM

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says women must be part of any peace process with the Taliban, a factor that could dash hopes for historic talks with the militant group.

"Our women have emerged to speak for themselves, to take great public positions. We have 10 deputy ministers, five women ambassadors, three ministers. They're increasingly active. They are going to be engaged in every part of the peace process," Ghani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday in an exclusive interview.

However, the Taliban's fundamentalist interpretation of Islam treats women as second-class citizens, and including women in any attempts at talks could keep the militant group from the negotiating table.

That leaves Ghani with the delicate task of trying to draw in the Taliban while keeping the country's liberal Western allies on board.

Ghani, who has vocally advocated women's rights in a country where gender inequality remains stark, on Wednesday proposed talks without preconditions with the Taliban, saying the group could be recognized as a legitimate political party and even open a political office.

The Taliban responded coolly to the proposal, calling it illogical and dismissing the Afghan government as American-influenced.

Ghani's proposals represent a bold offer to the group, which ruled the country from 1996 until 2001, when it was toppled by the US-led coalition that invaded the country following the 9/11 attacks.

But the offer comes at a time when actors are desperate for a solution. Afghanistan's conflict has raged for 16 years, becoming the United States' longest war.

Ghani also decried the loss of civilian life in the conflict and said Afghanistan's young people need change.

"Over 100,000 international troops left. We have been doing the fighting, the dying and the defending of this country," he told Amanpour.

Whether Washington will support talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban is not clear. Just last month, US President Donald Trump said the White House was not ready to talk with the Taliban, citing the terror group's continued use of violence.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to draw down the US presence in Afghanistan. But as President, he's given the Pentagon more autonomy, including the authority to increase troop levels.

The Afghan government has lost control of large swaths of territory to the Taliban. But Ghani denied that his offer signaled desperation or that his government had lost the upper hand.

"For the first time since the withdrawal of the international troops, we are steadily moving," he said. "We have (a) four-year plan. We are offering this not out of some desperation but out of courage and conviction that the violence that is inflicted on our people, the type of violence that they are resorting to, is an indication of weakness, not strength."

The Taliban has waged a bitter insurgency with a goal of ruling the country under its strict interpretation of Islamic law. The group carries out regular terror attacks and has in recent years also battled ISIS for territory and position.

Terre Haute
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Robinson
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Indianapolis
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 75°
Rockville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 69°
Casey
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 74°
Brazil
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 73°
Marshall
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 73°
The Heat Continues
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 147865

Reported Deaths: 7026
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook927814630
Lake10007423
DuPage9364475
Kane7877275
Will6957320
Winnebago310996
McHenry212097
St. Clair2037137
Kankakee131165
Rock Island106129
Madison104269
Kendall100021
Champaign96015
Boone61021
DeKalb58220
Peoria56728
Sangamon45532
Jackson34019
Randolph2887
McLean28513
Stephenson2785
Ogle2754
Clinton24217
Macon23622
LaSalle22817
Union19619
Whiteside19615
Coles17817
Grundy1775
Iroquois1645
Tazewell1528
Knox1470
Warren1450
Monroe13713
Cass1367
Williamson1334
Adams1311
Morgan1303
Jefferson10717
Lee1032
McDonough10215
Henry981
Pulaski790
Vermilion792
Marion700
Macoupin583
Perry581
Douglas540
Unassigned530
Livingston522
Montgomery491
Christian474
Jasper477
Jo Daviess471
Ford401
Woodford362
Jersey351
Franklin310
Bureau302
Menard250
Mercer250
Fayette233
Mason230
Wabash230
Alexander220
Carroll212
Washington210
Johnson200
Piatt200
Effingham191
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Logan180
Cumberland170
Bond161
Clark150
Fulton150
Massac150
Wayne141
Schuyler130
De Witt120
Marshall110
Brown100
Edgar100
Greene90
Saline90
Henderson80
White80
Lawrence70
Hamilton60
Richland40
Stark40
Gallatin30
Out of IL30
Pike30
Clay20
Edwards20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110