Taliban have right to contest polls: Rahmani

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Afghanistan’s new ambassador to the US says Taliban being part of Afghan society can participate in democratic processes, including elections.

The Afghan government, which had laid out a clear roadmap towards peace, welcomed the militant movement to contest election by having people vote for them, she said. In an interview with America’s National Public Radio (NPR), Roya Rahmani said: “This is their (Taliban’s) right like every other Afghan citizen.

Rahmani, who was recently appointed as the first female Afghan ambassador, hoped the US would not abandon her country. The US and Taliban are negotiating an end to the war. The envoy said the Afghans had demonstrated a great deal of generosity to forget the past and to let go of grievances as a price for peace. “Afghanistan is a changed place.”

She underlined the Afghans’ commitment to democracy as one of their highest values. The Afghan nation had a different standing and aspiration today, the diplomat insisted. Asked if she was concerned that achievements of the past 17 years could be undone if the Taliban became part of the government, Rahmani replied: “I don’t believe that Afghanistan could fall back.

“We are a changed nation. There is a shift in the mindset. Let me give you an example. I have met a soldier who has joined our forces simply because he has two daughters. And he will not agree his daughters will not go to school…” (Pajhwok)