BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): The European Parliament’s Committee on Relations with Afghanistan has termed the ongoing peace negotiations as the only way to steer Afghanistan out of conflicts, asking the Taliban to agree on ceasefire as talks without truce would turn out an exercise in futility.
Petras Auštrevičius, head of the committee, in an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said they would cease financially supporting a government based on extremism in Afghanistan.
He also stressed over protection of gains made over the past two decades in Afghanistan. “Spike in violence in this country is also a matter of concern and reduction in violence should be a goodwill gesture towards peace”, he said.
“We see the peace talks as a proper way for achieving a stable and lasting peace, not only a ceasefire. If peace negotiations continue with goodwill, there would be no need for truce. The Afghan people are traumatized by four decades of conflicts and spike in violence.”
Auštrevičius said he hoped the Afghan people would see a stable and inclusive peace in near future.
“I want the Taliban to accept ceasefire; because talks without ceasefire would end up futile, besides that, the Taliban should think about the future, you cannot destroy all the gains made. NATO and EU have spent millions of dollars in the past two decades for reconstruction and stability in Afghanistan…” he said.
He added that the Taliban should respect the rights of women, humans and children as the EU was supportive of women to have an active role in society and children’s education. “We want a civilized and free Afghanistan with a great future,” he said.
Clare Daly, a member of the European Parliament who works with the Committee on Relations with Afghanistan, told Pajhwok that the Taliban should stop violence as peace negotiations without ceasefire were meaningless.
She said the EU supported an active role of women in the peace process and the Taliban’s mutability about women was yet to change.”
“Violence has intensified more than ever and the Taliban refuse to talk to women. If the gains of the past two decades are not protected and girls are unable to attend schools or women barred from work or hospitals, then we are going back, I think these talks in some points are only about speaking, nothing else,” she said.
Except Pakistan no any other country wants the return of Islamic Emirate and this country should be pressed for its support to the Taliban, she added.
Daly said the international community and the EU should also stop removing Taliban leaders from sanctions’ lists. “I think ceasefire should be one of the fundamental conditions for peace talks.”
About EU’s assistance to Afghanistan, Daly said, “For continuation of financial assistance, there is need for infrastructural development and transparent spending of funds as well as officials should be accountable.”
She said the money should not be given into the hands of thieves as it would increase corruption.
“The assistance of $13 billion in Geneva Conference is a great amount; but it should not be embezzled by authorities,” she added.
Geneva Conference on Afghanistan was held between November 23 and 24, and representatives of 70 countries and 25 international organizations had participated. Donors pledged $13 billion in assistance for Afghanistan for a period of for years based on conditions.