Warring sides urged to protect national values in peace parleys


BALKH: Several local authorities and political activists in northern Balkh province on Tuesday urged the warring sides to preserve national values during the peace negotiations.

They spoke at a gathering held in Mazar-i-Sharif city, the provincial capital of Balkh, to commemorate the Martyrs’ Week and the 19th death anniversary of former anti-Soviet Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

The ceremony was attended by governmental and non-governmental officials who mostly conferred on peace and stability in the country.

Mohammad Ishaq Rahgzar, the governor of Balkh province, said that war had taken a huge toll on the Afghan people over the years and thus peace and stability must be realized to end their suffering.

He believed the Taliban did not have any further excuse not to start the intra-Afghan peace talks now, adding “The peace parleys should begin at the earliest possible.”

Mohammad Afzal Hadid, Provincial Council head, emphasized that the people of Afghanistan were tired of war and bloodshed and therefore, the warring sides should begin the negotiations at once.

Other speakers held similar views, adding that Afghanistan had endured four decades of war and suffered excessive casualties and hardships – a sad situation that should be brought to an end.