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FM Atmar to US's McMaster: Peace Without Human Rights Will Fail

06 Aug 2020 Tolo News

“Peace without human rights, democracy will not be acceptable to the Afghan people regardless of how many agreements can be signed between world powers and the Taliban and the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Atmar said in a discussion with H.R. McMaster, the former US national security adviser, in a program hosted by the Hoover Institute called "Battlegrounds."

McMaster began the conversation saying that the US might need to be reminded of the importance of engagement with the region:

"It seems sometimes that we Americans have short memories and we almost have to remind ourselves of that memory of September 11, 2001--and those attacks--to remind ourselves of the importance of the region, and the region never again hosting a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda capable of inflicting such devastating loss."

McMaster invited Atmar to give his reasons for an ongoing relationship between the US and Afghanistan. 

Atmar said that there were risks in disengaging from the region because terrorist threats would continue. He cited the aftermath of the Soviet pullout when the US turned its attention away from Afghanistan, and it became a safe haven for terrorists. 

Atmar said that the Afghan people want the gains the country has made over the past 19 years to be protected in the peace process, and he warned that no peace with the Taliban will not last long unless the gains are preserved.

Meanwhile, H. R. McMaster brought up Pakistan's role in supporting the Taliban:

"Of course it was the Taliban that hosted Al Qaeda and then after the US-led coalition deposed the Taliban government, it was Al Qaeda along with the Pakistani army's intelligence directorate that helped the Taliban regenerate."

And he mentioned Pakistan's current involvement:

“The Pakistani army is continuing to support the Taliban and the Pakistani prime minister described Osama Bin Laden as a martyr,” said McMaster.

Atmar stressed the need for a humanitarian ceasefire to be put into place.

“What we hope to discuss with the Taliban, the number one issue will be a humanitarian ceasefire, it is key now because our people are being killed by both the violence and COVID-19 pandemic,” said Atmar.

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