KABUL—Mohammad Yaser Qubadian was two years old and playing with toys when his father was killed by a Taliban roadside bomb in 2004. As a child, Qubadian used to wake up in the middle of the night, visit his father’s grave, read the Quran, and weep until morning. Fourteen years later, the family gravesite grew. One evening in August, 2018, an Islamic State suicide bomber walked into a local educational center. Qubadian picked up the dead body of his sister from the ashes and went home covered in blood.
“I was too young for such tragedies. The war has taken away everything from me,” said Qubadian, now the vice president of War Victims #Centered-Peace Community, a national group for civilian victims of the war. “I have no reason to live, expect demanding justice.”
As Qubadian seeks justice for his father and his sister, thousands of miles away in #Doha, Qatar, the children of the same Afghan leaders who started the war are now seeking to end it. (Anas Haqqani, one Taliban negotiator, is the son of Jalaluddin #Haqqani, who was one of the initial leaders in the war against the Soviets. Batur Dostum, one government negotiator, is the son of Marshal #Dostum, a recently promoted warlord who fought for the Soviets and then turned against the communists in Kabul.)
The Doha negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government will have to go beyond deal-making and include the civilian victims as a third and independent party at the negotiation table, #Qubadian insists. There will not be justice or healing in the country without a fact-finding commission that investigates, acknowledges, and apologizes for the suffering of civilians.