Khostis urge warring sides to declare an immediate truce

KHOST: Local residents staged a demonstration in southeastern Khost province, urging the warring sides to declare an immediate ceasefire and launch the intra-Afghan talks to achieve permanent peace in the country. 
Hundreds of people gathered in the main roundabout of Khost city, the provincial capital, saying all the Afghan and Islamic values had paled due to the war. “The warring parties should agree on a truce and launch the intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.” 
“We don’t accept any obstacle to the intra-Afghan talks. We ask the parties into the conflict not to seek any more pretexts for killing innocent Afghans and make peace.” 
The peaceful protest also strongly condemned the recent cross-Durand Line shelling by Pakistan into Kunar, Paktika and Khost. 
This comes as the last week’s Consultative Loya Jirga gave a mandate to the government to release the remaining 400 Taliban inmates of the total 5,000 based on the US-Taliban peace agreement in February. President Ashraf Ghani has recently decreed freeing the contentious prisoners which means the all-Afghan peace parleys are expected to be launched soon in Qatar, hopefully leading to a decrease in the level of violence.