Afghan media should be allowed to cover the potential peace negotiation talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, said NAI, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, on Wednesday. This comes as the two sides are expected to sit for talks in the next few days in Doha, Qatar.
Meanwhile, officials of the Access to Information Commission have also said that the Afghan people have a fundamental right to be aware of the details and progress on the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Experts believe that any backdoor talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will harm the trust of the Afghan people on the peace process and this will also increase their concerns about the future of Afghanistan in the post-peace era.
“The peace process is expected to determine the future of the Afghan people and bring peace for the Afghan people, therefore, they (journalists) should have complete access to information so that the people remain aware about the process,” said Ainuddin Bahaduri, the head of the Access to Information Commission.
“Backdoor talks will harm the trust of the public, this will also bring fear among them about their future. The presence of journalists will be a supporting element for the people of Afghanistan,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, the head of Journalists’ Safety Committee.
Until now there is no confirmation about whether a delegation of Afghan media will accompany the peace negotiating team to Doha.
“Media outlets should be allowed to undertake their responsibility and inform the people about the peace process,” said Frozan Rasouli, the deputy head of Equality for Peace and Democracy.
But, the Qatari embassy in Kabul, in response to reports that the Qatar government was against the media coverage of the peace talks, has said that Doha has asked the Afghan government to decide on the media coverage of the talks by the Afghan media.
One member of the negotiation team spoke to TOLOnews about the talks: “We will not compromise on the gains the country made over the past two decades and they will be safeguarded,” said Farooq Majroh, a member of the peace negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Also on Tuesday, residents in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul called for transparency in the expected peace negotiations, as the government’s peace negotiating team prepares to depart for Doha on Thursday.
The Afghan citizens expressed hope that the talks will be carried out in an open environment, not behind closed doors.