It’s time you accepted each other: Heratis to warring sides


HERAT: Tribal elders, clerics and residents of western Herat province on Sunday said the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan should be put to an end and the path of peace given a chance so the war-ravaged Afghans enjoy a normal life.

A gathering aimed at supporting the peace process happens in Herat as the negotiating teams of the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to start direct talks in the near future.

Arbab Abdul Rahman and Haji Ghulam Yahya, tribal elders from Herat province, said that peace was a fundamental need of the Afghan people and thus the chance made available for achieving it should not be missed.

“Afghans can no longer bear war, the only way to follow now is to accept each other and pave the ground for peace so that we finally have a secure life,” Rahman believed. 

On the other hand, Mohammad Ismail Barak, a member of the People’s Peace Movement in Herat, said as the prisoner exchange process was completed, there might still be some small issues between the sides but they shouldn’t damage or disrupt the peace process.

He said that peace was a national process and a few shouldn’t exploit it for their personal interests or ruin the long-awaited hopes of Afghans.

Other participants said peace was the most vital need of Afghans and that it shouldn’t only protect the past gains but even further develop them, adding that peace should give Afghans a safe and dignified life.

The Afghan government released 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the insurgents freed 1,000 Afghan soldier inmates last week in return, a move that completed the prisoner exchange process which was a precondition for starting the intra-Afghan talks.

This comes as the Taliban have already announced their negotiating team and the all-Afghan parleys are expected to start shortly.