And do we really want peace with the Taliban?

Well it seems we have fallen into the pit as far as our failed Afghanistan project is concerned. It failed from the start really when we, the Western powers, put a gun to the head of the Afghan King that fateful evening to force him to step aside in favour of our pet Hamid Karzai. Then President Karzai empowered the ex-warlords and Afghanistan never got the liberation it deserved from years of brutal Taliban rule. And now, after the sacrifice of all that blood and treasure we are to let the Taliban rule again.

The following is the text of the peace agreement just reached in Qatar between the Afghan government and an assorted bunch of Talibanista who claim to represent the Taliban fighting on the ground. Whether they do is another issue. This document would be desperately depressing were it not for the fact that it is brought to our attention by one of the more senior Afghan members of the Next Century Foundation, HRH Prince Nadir Naim. If Prince Nadir thinks this document is a way forward then we trust him and will support it wholeheartedly. Sometimes, in the darkest hours, we have a duty to hope against hope. At this moment in Afghanistan’s history that is our duty. So we hope that this will work.

HRH Prince Nadir writes, “My dear friends, We are heading back to Kabul after 2 days of intense dialogue Intra-Afghan with the Taliban regarding the Afghan peace process. The participants in this dialogue consisted of 18 Taliban members and just over forty Afghans including some government officials. All the participants attended in their own personal capacity and were not representative of any political groups or organizations.

“This is the joint statement that all the participants agreed upon. We hope that this is a positive step in the right direction to a permanent and dignified peace in our beloved Afghanistan:

Resolution of Intra Afghan Peace Conference
Doha, Qatar
We, the participants of the Conference hereby appreciate, thank and value the
efforts of Qatar and German Government for organizing Intra Afghan Peace
Conference held on 7 and 8 July 2019 in Doha Qatar and express our deepest
gratitude accordingly.
We express our greatest gratitude from the United Nations, Regional Countries,
particularly, countries who have facilitated the negotiations for USA and intra
afghan peace conference and have taken necessary steps towards the conflict
resolution. We are hoping that these parties will continue their support in a way
that will benefit our country and the nation and result into a real and desirable
peace.
From our point of view, dialogue and agreement assists us to reach an
understanding concerning our present and future, be able to tackle the barriers
and obstacles as well as understand each other. Therefore, all participants insist
and emphasis on the continuation of the dialogue.
We the participants of the Doha conference hereby agree on the following points
to reach a sustainable peace.
1. All participants have full consensus that achieving sustainable, throughout
and a dignified peace which is the demand of the afghan people, is only
possible via afghan Inclusive negotiations
2. Afghanistan is a united, Islamic Country and home for all different
ethnicities. Islamic Sovereignty, social and political justice, national unity,
territorial sovereignty, which all Afghans are committed upon.
3. Throughout the history, particularly during the last 40 years, the Afghan
people have defended their religions, country, and culture and sacrificed
immensely for their independent. Afghanistan shall not be the witness of
another war in the country and intra Afghan agreement between different
levels of the society is vital and crucial. All International Community,
regional and internal elements shall respect out values accordingly.
4. Since our nation is suffering daily due to on going prolonged war and its
therefore, necessary that the following steps are needed to be taken so
that we can have an effective Intra Afghan negotiation.
a. The conflict parties shall avoid threats, revenges and conflicting
words, shall use soft terminologies and words during their official
gatherings, and shall not fuel the conflict and revenge.
b. The Doha peace conference participants strongly supports the
current peace talks in doha and believes that an effective and
positive outcome from the negotiations will be fruitful for
Afghanistan.
5. The following steps shall be taken to create trustable environment for
peace and in order to have our nation safe from the war and its
consequences, violence and devastation shall be decreased: the conflict
parties shall consider these measures.
a. unconditional release of elders, disables and sick inmates.
b. Ensuring the security of public institutions, such as schools,
Religious Madrassas, hospitals, markets, water dams and other
working locations.
c. In particular, respect educational institutions, like schools,
universities, and other educational institutions as well residential
areas.
d. Committed to respect and protect the dignity of people, their life
and property and to minimize the civilian casualties to Zero.
6. Assuring women rights in political, social, economic, educational, cultural
affairs as per within the Islamic framework of Islamic Values.
7. Assuring the rights of religious minorities.
8. The participants of Doha conference agrees on a roadmap for peace based
on the following conditions:
a. institutionalizing Islamic system in the country for the
implementation of comprehensive peace,
b. Start of the peace process simultaneously with the accomplishment
of all terms and conditions set forth.
c. monitoring and observation of the peace agreement,
d. Reform in the preservation of fundamental institutions, defensive
and other national entities which belongs to all Afghans,
e. repatriation of immigrants and return of IDPs,
f. support and assistance from donor countries post peace agreement
based on the new cooperation and relations,
g. Insist during international conferences regarding the assurance of
Afghanistan peace agreement.
h. Assurance on zero interference from the neighboring and regional
countries in Afghanistan.
9. We acknowledge and approve the recent resolution of intra Afghan
conference held on 5 and 6 Feb 2019 in Moscow and we urge the Islamic
Conference, UN, Security council, EU and our neighboring countries to
support the peace conferences held in Moscow and Doha.
MAY ALLAH GRANT US SUCCESS IN OUR FUTURE ENDEVOURS

UN High Court Rules in Qatar-UAE Case

A year since the blockade against Qatar, the Gulf nation has for the first time taken the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) over what it described as human right violations.

The boycott, which has been in effect since June 2017, is led by Saudi Arabia with the support of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – all previous partners of Qatar in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – and Egypt.

In June, Qatar’s government put forward a case, seeking reparations by arguing that the UAE enacted a series of measures that discriminate against Qataris. The measures include expelling Qataris from the UAE, prohibiting them from entering or passing through the UAE, ordering UAE nationals to leave Qatar, and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.

Qatar’s government argues that these actions were in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) – including discrimination on the basis of nationality. A tactical move by Qatar as the UAE and Qatar are the only Gulf signatories to the convention.

In response, the UAE offered a defence to Qatar’s case, citing similar allegations that were leveled against Qatar when the diplomatic row broke out last year. The UAE’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Saeed Al-Nuwais, has dismissed Qatar’s discrimination case as baseless and rejected all allegations.

However, on Monday, the ICJ ruled in favour of Qatar. The vote, albeit a narrow one with eight judges in favour and seven against, ruled that the measures put in place by the UAE amounted to racial discrimination and must immediately reunite Qatari families affected by the blockade and allow Qatari students to continue their education in the UAE. The ICJ’s decision, whilst provisional is nonetheless binding and a further proceeding is expected to be scheduled at a future date.

Despite the difficulties, Qatar overcame the economic impacts of the blockade – maintaining healthy growth. The blockading countries were already under economic hardship as a result of low oil prices, and have themselves suffered from cutting economic trade with Qatar. Energy-rich Qatar tapped into its massive wealth reserves to absorb the initial impact on its economy and secured alternatives means of trade for food supplies and maritime routes and ports.

This is a small victory for Qatar, who still remains isolated and estranged from neighbouring countries. A political solution to the Gulf crisis seems further far afield, as neither Qatar nor the blockading nations have shown any signs of backing down.