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A member of the Afghan local police meets with soldiers from the U.S. Army at a checkpoint near Combat Outpost Hutal in Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on January 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton
Report 268 / Asia

آینده پولیس محلی افغان

پولیس محلی افغان (ALP) به عنوان یک آزمایش کوچک ایالات متحده آمریکا شروع ، اما به یک بخش مهم دستگاه امنیتی در افغانستان مبدل گردید. در صدها جامعه روستایی ، نیروی های پولیس محلی در خط مقدم جبهه خدمت می کنند که خشونت به درجه ی رسیده است که از 2001 به بعد تا بحال دیده نشده است ، به همان اندازه شورشیان از روی اعتقاد تهدیدات شانرا  در شهرهای بزرگ شروع  کرده اند. پولیس محلی  افغان در میان یک مناقشه ی پالیسی قرار گرفته اند که آیا حکومت کابل با ملیشه ها، شبه نظامیان و دیگر قطعات منظم غیر مسئول بیرون از تشکیل نیروهای امنیت ملی افغان  می تواند به وجه احسن از خود دفاع کند. تجربه مختلط نشان میدهد که پولیس محلی افغان در امنیت جاهای  که عناصر محلی اجازه استخدام افراد را از قریه های که پاسداری میکنند بدهد و جاهایکه به جامعه خویش احترام قایل اند کمک کنند. اما چنین وضعیت در بیشتر والسوالی ها  وجود ندارد. پولیس محلی افغان و ملیشه های طرفدار دولت اقتصادی ولی خطرناک اند، و حکومت کابل باید مانع درخواست برای توسعه و گسترش آنها شود. اصلاحات بخاطر تقویت و بهبود کار مباشرت و سرپرستی ،  منفصل کردن پولیس محلی در بسیاری مناطق که امنیت را بد تر می کنند و ادغام  قطعات باقی مانده با نیروهای امنیت ملی افغانستان لازم است.

بعد از سال 2001 وقتی افسران استخباراتی در شمال افغانستان رسیدند تا ملیشه های محلی را علیه طالبان تحریک کنند، حضور امریکایی ها با تکثیر و ازدیاد نیروی های نا منظم و نیمه منظم همراه بود که توسط  ایالات متحده پشتیبانی میشد. هیچ یک از نیرو های ملیشه به میزان پولیس محلی نرسیده اند  که حالا شاید 29000 تن در 29 ولایت از 34 ولایت افغانستان مستقر باشند. ملیشه های ماقبل پولیس محلی برای نیازمندی  های تکتیکی کوتاه مدت مثل همکاری با تیم مبارزه علیه تروریزم در نقاط مرزی ساخته شده بود؛ پولیس محلی یک تلاش وسیع است تا مشکلات ستراتیژیک را در جنگ علیه طالبان  اصلاح کند. پلان گذاران ایالات متحده امریکا پی بردند که آنها  نیروهای امنیتی افغان را درقریه های فرستاده اند که مردمان محل آنها را بخاطر قوم ، نژاد و دورنمای شهرنیشنی شان به دیده ی یک خارجی و بیگانه می نگرند.

مقامات ارشد افغان تمایل به حمایت از چنین قطعات مردمی  نداشتند، قسماً بخاطریکه آنها مانع قدرت دولت مرکزی می شدند و نیز آنها شبیه ملیشه های اند که در در دهه 1990 در جنگ های داخلی شرکت داشتند. رئیس جمهور حامد کرزی سرانجام خط مش پولیس محلی افغان را بعد از اصرار و سماجت زیاد پذیرفت که آنها اسماً به عنوان "پولیس" دسته بندی می شوند و به وزارت امور داخله پاسخگو میباشند.  او فهرست 10000 نفری برای اقدامات موقت 2-5 ساله را تصویب کرد تا متوجه ازدیاد بی ثباتی شوند، اگرچه  برنامه بطور سریع توسعه یافت. 5 سال بعد مقامات در حکومت اشرف غنی به پلان های فکر می کنند که این رقم  را 45000 برساند و در جستجوی بودجه هستند تا برنامه پولیس محلی را بعد از ختم کمک های مالی ایالات متحده درسپتمر سال 2018 ادامه دهند. 

مقامات امنیتی افغان و امریکا همچنان آزمایشات شانرا با قطعات غیر منظم برای مقابله با شورشیان ادامه می دهند. عبدالرشید دوستم معاون اول ریاست جمهوری ، و یک رهبر اسبق ملیشه ها آشکارا فراخوان نیروی 20000 نفری جدید شده است. پیش ازین  مقامات امنیتی سعی دارند  تا ملیشه های 5000 نفری را حد اقل در هفت ولایت به عنوان یک راه حل موقت در مقابل افزایش نا امنی تشکیل دهند. مقامات افغان که در رابطه به نیروهای دارای آموزش کم وسرعت افزایش احساس تردید میکنند شاید در استدلال میان همکاران خود  به شکست مواجه شوند در صورت که  حمله شورشیان در سال 2015 و 2016 طوریکه پیشبینی شده افزایش یابد ، منجر به فشار بیشتر برای اصلاحات سریع میشود.

اگر چه برنامه پولیس محلی افغان  در بسیاری مناطق  امنیت را بیشتر نکرده  و حتی در شمار از مناطق کشمکش و نا امنی را تشدید کرده است. شمار محدود از مردم قریه جات پولیس محلی افغان را به عنوان یک منبع حراست توصیف میکنند، بدون درنظر داشت اینکه ولسوالی های  آنها شاید یک میدان جنگ و یا یک جای امن برای شورشیان شود، اما بیشتر معمول است تا شکایت آنها را بشنویم که پولیس محلی افغان مردم را که باید از آنها حفاظت کنند می کشند. در سال 2014 پولیس محلی در حین خدمت  به احتمال زیاد سه  تا شش مرتبه بیشتر نسبت به همتایان شان در نیروهای امنیت ملی افغان کشته شدند. گاهگاه این طوری بازتاب داده شده که قطعات پولیس محلی بخش مرکزی جنگ شده اند که توسط طالبان به عنوان یک هدف مهم ثبت گردیده است. در جاهای دیگر، میزان بیشترین تلفات در بین پولیس محلی افغان  ناشی از سوء استفاده چنین قطعات – اخاذی، آدم ربایی، کشتار بدون توسل به مراجع قضایی می باشد که منجر با واکنش های مسلحانه میشود.  اساتید مکاتب که از طرف پولیس محلی هتک حرمت شده اند و سلاح می گیرند که به  پوسته های آنها حمله کنند شاید هیچ ارتباط به شورشیان نداشته باشند، و ممکن است شاید به زودی با آرامش به زندگی غیر نظامی خویش برگردند.  چنین موارد نشان میدهد که چگونه پولیس محلی افغان می تواند به جای که کشمکش و جنگ را سرکوب کند ، آنرا ترغیب می کند.

تحولات تاریخی پیشنهاد میکند که توسعه و گسترش بیشتر چنین نیروها یک اشتباه بوده و در عین زمان  درنگ و توقف ناگهانی برنامه شورشیان را از نقطه نظرنظامی تحریک کرده، و اگر جنگجویان قبلی با دقت بیشتر در جامعه و نیروی امنیت ملی دوباره  جمع نگردند به راهزنی و دیگر شکل های غیر قانونی  کشیده خواهند شد . پالیسی های جدید لازم است تا زندگی قطعات پولیس محلی افغان را با سلوک نیک  ثابت شده توسعه داد ، در حالیکه همزمان نیروی پولیس محلی را کاهش داده شود و بالاخره برنامه را به پایان برسد.  دخالت مختلط لازم است تا نظارت و سرپرستی را  بشمول آموزش بیشتر، آزمایش و  انضباط تقویت بخشیده و قطعات باقی مانده پولیس محلی بعد از پروسه منحل سازی در نیروی امنیت ملی مدغم شود.  بسیاری ازبازیگران داخلی  و خارجی  به شمول شورای بزرگان که در آغاز برای تصویب برنامه گرد آمده بودند با ید  اختیار داده شوند تا موقعیت نیروهای پولیس محلی که به بی ثباتی کمک می کنند را شناسایی کنند.  میکانیزم  سرپرستی و نظارت فقط اختیار داشته باشند که  در جای که برنامه عملی نمی شود  پولیس محلی افغان را کاهش  دهند و یا حذف کنند  اما اختیار نداشته باشند که تعداد شان  را بیشتر کنند و یا منابع را به یک مکان جدید انتقال دهند.

فقط رقم محدودی از پولیس محلی موجود در چنین یک سیستم دقیق پذیرفته خواهند شد، اما  آن تعداد باقیمانده  پولیس محلی باید  معادل پولیس ملی افغان معاشات شان افزایش یابد  و از جانب دولت افغانستان و جامعه جهانی به حد کافی حمایت شوند. هم پیمانان واشنگتن مایل نیستند تا در برنامه دخیل باشند ،اما آنها باید نگرانی شان را زمانی که  پولیس محلی افغان پولیس واجد شرایط شده و منحیث یک پروژه نظامی آمریکا حساب نشود کنار بگذارند.

Mary Akrami, Laila Jafari, and Fawzia Koofi attend the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in Doha on July 7, 2019. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
Briefing Note / Asia

What Will Peace Talks Bode for Afghan Women?

This is the third in a series of three briefing notes that discuss and analyse the nascent peace process in Afghanistan while focusing on frequently raised questions.

On 29 February, the Taliban and the U.S. signed an agreement that commits the U.S. to a fourteen-month phased withdrawal of military forces in exchange for Taliban commitments to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a safe harbour for terrorists. The agreement also obligates the Taliban to commence peace negotiations with the Afghan government and other Afghan power brokers. This breakthrough comes after a decade of on-and-off U.S. and other efforts to catalyse a peace process, throughout which many have raised serious concerns about the risk that legitimising the Taliban and returning them to some degree of political power in Afghanistan would subject Afghan women once again to forms of oppression and exclusion that they endured during Taliban rule in the 1990s.

Afghan Women and Peace with the Taliban

Negotiating an end to the war in Afghanistan will require compromises. But which compromises? What might be sacrificed? Does making a deal with a conservative religious movement mean selling out human rights, including women’s rights? CRISISGROUP

Would a peace process jeopardise women’s rights?

As with other topics for negotiation, neither side is in a strong enough position in the conflict to dictate its stance on women’s rights in a political settlement.

The short answer is yes. The Taliban have views about women’s rights and status that are different from those of the Afghan government’s current leadership, so any agreement that gives the Taliban a share of power in Kabul will probably result in some degree of degradation in how women’s rights are defined and protected. Difficult talks on this issue should be anticipated as part of intra-Afghan negotiations that bring together the warring parties. As with other topics for negotiation, neither side is in a strong enough position in the conflict to dictate its stance on women’s rights in a political settlement. It is plausible that a negotiated outcome on issues affecting women would reflect the middle ground between the Taliban and those who will advocate for preserving existing protections or would be vague enough to permit differing interpretations.

The Taliban do not, however, seem to have fully formed positions about how precisely they would approach women’s rights if they return to government. On the one hand, Taliban officials have consistently told Crisis Group (and others) that they do not seek a return to the past and would not try to reimpose the rules enforced by their former Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. A Taliban official said, “Many negative things within the Taliban definitely need reforming, such as the rigid rules”. On the other hand, the Taliban have avoided specifying which of their old rules could be relaxed and which parts of the current legal order they consider un-Islamic by their strict interpretations.

Occasionally the Taliban have expressed views on some specific limitations on women’s roles; during a 2019 intra-Afghan dialogue, for instance, one Taliban representative reportedly told a female participant that a woman could be prime minister of a future Afghan government but not president or a judge. Nevertheless, the Taliban overall have projected an ambiguous posture on women’s issues. They have said women should continue to enjoy rights to education and work so long as those rights are consistent with Islamic law and Afghan culture, without spelling out how such restrictions would limit women’s rights compared with the status quo. Based on Crisis Group discussions with Taliban figures at various levels of seniority, this posture is not only a bargaining tactic on the insurgents’ part; rather, it also appears to reflect a lack of well-defined Taliban policy.

Whatever deal emerges from negotiations among Afghans may be constrained somewhat by the fact that their country remains dependent on foreign aid, including from donor governments that will prioritise enduring protection of women’s rights. The Afghan government collects only $2.5 billion per year in revenue while spending $11 billion, and its expenses are projected to remain at similar levels in the coming years. In discussions with Crisis Group, Taliban officials have expressed hope of negotiating peace in a way that avoids a disastrous aid cutoff, but it remains unclear if they could or would meet donor requirements on gender and other rights and governance issues.

Shaharzad Akbar, head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, told Crisis Group that peace will require compromise on both sides. She noted that the Taliban will face pressure at the negotiating table to offer assurances on issues such as women’s and minority rights as well as freedom of speech; conversely, she predicted, the other side in the negotiations may need to concede some fundamental changes in the nature of the Afghan state and constitutional order. “Everything will be on the table”, she predicted.

Neither side will enjoy control over the process and questions about women’s rights will likely be the subject of tough negotiations.
Afghan women listen to a speech delivered by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during an event marking International Literacy Day in Kabul September 28, 2010. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Despite the evident risks, the specific outcome of a peace process on women’s rights and related issues cannot be precisely forecast. Neither side will enjoy control over the process and questions about women’s rights will likely be the subject of tough negotiations. Negotiations will take place under the influence of strong advocacy for women’s rights on the part of some participants as well as some groups and individuals outside the circle of negotiators. The danger that compromise language in a peace accord could be vague and that real determination of women’s status and opportunities might be left to the vagaries of implementation means that those who support strong protection of women’s rights will need to negotiate every possible advantage at the peace table itself.

Since 2002, Afghanistan has seen historic advancement of women’s rights, freedoms and achievements – for some. These advances, as Human Rights Watch puts it, are still “partial and fragile”, and women even in government-controlled areas of the country continue to fight for implementation of their legally guaranteed rights. Such guarantees will be debated at the negotiating table, potentially resetting Afghan women’s political struggle. But the social advancements born of this struggle over the past eighteen years cannot be so easily undone by the intra-Afghan talks. A peaceful end to Afghanistan’s conflict could enable this struggle – which would be sure to continue after any negotiated settlement is reached – to extend more broadly throughout the country, including to more women who have lived under the Taliban’s insurgency.

What is at risk for Afghan women?

Many women benefited significantly from the freedoms and opportunities they gained after 2001, especially in cities. Improved access to health care more than halved the number of women dying in childbirth. After being largely excluded from public life under the Taliban, women now hold 27 per cent of civil service jobs and quotas have brought a substantial number of women into parliament. Relatively few women had formal schooling under the Taliban, whereas now 100,000 women attend university and 3.5 million girls are enrolled in school.

The benefits have not been entirely limited to government-controlled areas. Many of those 3.5 million girls attend classes in Taliban-controlled parts of the country. The Taliban’s earlier dictates forbade instruction on “Muslim women’s improper liberation”, but in the last ten years the Taliban have adopted and enforced a formal policy endorsing girls’ education. In practice, girls’ education often stops at puberty in Taliban territory, though the Taliban’s strict edicts have given way in many respects to prevailing local norms.

It is important to note that Afghan women have complex and mixed views of the Taliban and its record. During the 1990s, the Taliban sought to impose one of the most severe regimes of gender segregation anywhere in the world, banning women from leaving homes without a male chaperone, limiting girls’ access to education, imposing a strict dress code, and inflicting harsh punishments like stoning that nearly all Muslim-majority countries upholding some form of Islamic law have dispensed with.

Nevertheless, some women do not regard the Taliban as enemies, although it is difficult to ascertain how many given that as much as 76 per cent of the country’s women are estimated to live in rural areas, a population that lacks the same platforms for expression as educated urban Afghans and is less accessible to researchers and journalists. Some Afghan women credited the Taliban with imposing order in the mid-1990s and reducing the widespread sexual and gender-based violence of the preceding civil wars. Moreover, an unknown number of women have supported the Taliban – sometimes actively, in roles as spies, smugglers, couriers, medics, logisticians and recruiters – though it is difficult to gauge how much choice women have had in offering this support.

Some women living in Taliban-controlled areas today, when it is possible to research their views, continue to credit the group for providing security. But even some who appreciate the Taliban’s imposition of order condemn the group for its effective banishment of women from public life and its stark diminishment of women’s legal status.

Some Afghan women are voicing fears that the negotiations may result in restoration of the Taliban’s old rules from the 1990s.

Now that the peace process has raised the prospect of Taliban returning to some degree of national power, some Afghan women are voicing fears that the negotiations may result in restoration of the Taliban’s old rules from the 1990s. Other Afghan women have countered that the country’s war-torn status quo is unacceptable and that talking to the Taliban is the only way to achieve a desperately needed peace.

What might Afghan women gain from the peace process?

Afghan women’s views about the potential gains from a peace process cover a spectrum of opinion. Urban women tend to be most sceptical about the Taliban entering into mainstream politics. Rural women with whom Crisis Group spoke in recent months often expressed a different view.

During recent Crisis Group interviews in Kandahar province, rural women spoke with urgency about ending the bloodshed, which is greater in rural than in urban areas. After losing so many relatives in the war, one said, rural women feel impatient for the Taliban to reclaim a share of government power, even if that means a return of conservative religious rules. Living under the Taliban insurgency, for many, has also meant economic deprivation and inequality of aid delivery. At the same time, she expressed hope that the Taliban would relax some of the edicts they imposed in the 1990s, such as the requirement that women should be chaperoned in public. Several rural women said they want their daughters to be educated, unlike their mothers and grandmothers. But ultimately, for many women, what is paramount is freedom from the war that has left so many as widows, mourning mothers and with lives molded by conflict. “Freedom for us means an end to the war, an end to our children and husbands dying”, said a woman from a village north of Kandahar city. Another female villager emphasised to Crisis Group: “Peace is the first thing”.