KABUL - *President Ashraf Ghani has said that women must be part of any peace process with the Taliban 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,” President Ghani said in an interview with CNN.
During his interview, 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 said.
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.