Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Spotlights 2019 Afghan Survey
Afghanistan today is an Islamic Republic, not an Islamic Emirate, and the vast majority of Afghans wish it to remain so. It should not suffer the loss in any peace agreement of the many democratic, economic, and social achievements of the past almost-two decades. The 2019 Asia Foundation Survey of the Afghan people found that 89 percent of Afghans support efforts to negotiate peace, and 64 percent still believe that reconciliation is possible. But not at any price. Some 80 percent of them, in a country struggling with education and literacy, consider preservation of freedom of speech and freedom of the press as very or somewhat important to be protected in any peace agreement. Some 65 percent of Afghans would oppose a peace agreement that endangered women’s education or the ability to work outside the home. 85 percent say they have no sympathy with the Taliban. Reconciling the Taliban to today’s Afghanistan will be a challenging task that only Afghans themselves can tackle.
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