Magazine article New Internationalist

YOUR VERDICT: On Last Month's Argument: Is Talking to the Taliban a Betrayal of Afghanistan's Women?

Magazine article New Internationalist

YOUR VERDICT: On Last Month's Argument: Is Talking to the Taliban a Betrayal of Afghanistan's Women?

Article excerpt

THE US GOVERNMENT LACKS THE PRINCIPLES and capacity to negotiate peaceful settlements. Its history of arbitration and dialogue are shockingly lacking. They simply wish to wash their bloody hands of the situation, and get a chunk of Afghanistan's newly discovered mineral treasures... The US has never proven itself capable of negotiating peaceful settlements. Only the UN should be empowered to chair the negotiations. And only broader involvement from the Muslim world will allow for a true long-term solution. . . The battle for women's rights was lost with the start of the war.

Goolam Dawood

WE ALL KNOW THAT TALKING IS THE ONLY way to resolve a dispute, be it at the level of a personal relationship or a full-blown war. So talking to the Taliban would seem to make eminent sense. However, what I would strongly urge - indeed demand - is a set of clearly defined conditions. And top of the list would be a cast-iron safeguard for the rights of women and the gay community. If these could not be guaranteed then I fear there could be no resolution to the conflict.

JJ Jones

LIVING IN THE BALKANS FOR SOME DECADES has taught me that there are a considerable amount of people you cannot talk to: they are insensitive to reason and arguments. Trying to reason with them automatically puts in danger anyone reasonable in their argument.

Anna Markovic Plestovic

I LIVE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND, WITH over 30 years of war, this small country is living proof that talking works and the bullet and bomb don't. Peace!

Eileen McCartney

THE CURRENT AFGHAN ADMINISTRATION IS full of warlords with blood on their hands, Will the inclusion of another bunch of violent men really help?

I can see the value of talking to all parties in a conflict situation. But talking with them with a view to sharing power? That implies a 'reform' of the Taliban that I just don't see happening. …

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