Danish speaks out in support of rights for minority groups

Sarwar Danish, Afghanistan’s second vice president, said at a gathering on Sunday that the basic rights of Afghans, especially minorities, need to be focused on and preserved during peace talks and after a peace agreement has been reached.

Speaking at an event on the vulnerability of minorities and the peace process, Danish said that Afghanistan’s Constitution clearly lays out the rights of ethnic, tribal, and cultural minorities but many of these rights have not yet been implemented.

“In our country when you speak about minority rights, some people say that it is against national unity, however respecting minorities and other cultures is national unity and will improve solidarity, ” said Danish.

According to Danish the minority groups should be represented in the peace talks by their own representatives.

“Despite the Afghan government and people supporting the peace process, minorities are seriously concerned about their rights [being preserved],” said Danish.

Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said minorities and victims voices should not be ignored in the peace talks.

“All human rights, especially victims’ rights, should be considered for the sake of lasting peace in the country,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy head of AIHRC.

On the other hand, the state minister for human rights affairs said that there is no excuse for human rights not to be upheld.

“Special attention is needed for [preserving] women and minorities’ rights,” said Sima Samar, state minister for human rights affairs.

Participants of the gathering emphasized that Afghanistan is the home for all Afghans and without the rights of minorities the country will not achieve a lasting peace.