AFGHAN women fear cost of peace will be their freedom : It is naive to think the Taliban changed their stance on women's rights, says Kabul restaurateur.

Laila Haidari, who like many educated Afghan women fears any peace deal between the extremists and the US could erode  hard-won freedom.

Draconian rules that once forced half the population behind closed doors - barred from education and work - have been chipped away in the early two decades since the US-led invasion that wept the Taliban from power.

''If they return, women will have to leave the public space,'' Haidiri tells AFP from the restaurant she runs in Kabul, one of the places in the capital where men and women dine together.

Haideri launched the #metooafghanistan movement which she and others hope will be a vanguard of  Afghan women who can hold the line against Taliban power.

''We never want to go back. We never want to lose our freedom,'' says Mina Rezace, the owner of another cafe in Kabul, where music - banned under the Taliban - plays in the background.

After six days of negotiations in Qatar, the US and Taliban have agreed to draft a framework for a deal which could pave the way for the insurgents to hold peace talks with Kabul.

With the US desperate to withdraw from the Afghanistan, and the Taliban in control of vast parts of the country, it is unclear what a post-conflict government would look like.

Any participation by the Taliban, however, frightens many women. Before being toppled by the US invasion of 2001, the Taliban governed Afghanistan for nearly five years with the strict interpretation of the  Sharia law.

''We still remember how hard it was to be a woman under the Taliban rule,'' says Naweeda Bayat, a  25-year old from central Jaghori district.

''I was a kid, but I remember they burned our school right in front of our eyes.''

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Afghanistan, Peace and Citizens, continues to Part 2.


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