Balkh dwellers urge early launch of intra-Afghan negotiations


BALKH: Residents and civil society representatives in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the capital of northern Balkh province, on Tuesday called for an immediate launch of the intra-Afghan talks.

A gathering titled ‘Permanent Ceasefire and Stable Peace’ was organized for eliciting viewpoints from the Afghan people to determine what expectations, demands and concerns they had from the peace process.

Women’s rights activists, representatives of civil society organizations, university lecturers and youths attended the meeting convened by the Sanayee Development Organization (SDO).

Participants of the conference stressed the preservation of gains made over the past two decades and said stable peace in Afghanistan was the fundamental demand of all the people.

Farakh Laqa Onchizada, SDO head in Balkh, said that the aim of the gathering was raising the voice for the protection of achievements of the past two decades in Afghanistan.

Sadaf Obaidi, a defense lawyer in Balkh, emphasized the need for permanent peace in the country and said that intra-Afghan talks should be launched as soon as possible so it could pave way for ending the ongoing conflict and help achieve peace.

Nasiba Hekmati, a university lecturer who also joined the gathering, said that the views and suggestions of all the Afghan people should be taken into account in the intra-Afghan peace talks so they could have a say in important dialogues deciding their future.

Some other participants of the meeting announced their support to the Afghan peace process but asked the warring sides to declare a comprehensive ceasefire in the country.

It’s pertinent to mention that the gathering coincided with a powerful car bombing in the Balkh district that targeted a military base, leaving around 70 people killed and wounded.