BALKH: Coinciding with the initiation of peace talks, athletes in northern Balkh province took part in a volleyball tournament to show solidarity for peace and promote a culture of peace-seeking in the country.
The event termed ‘Call for Peace’ was launched last month and came to an end on Sunday as the finale was held in the port township of Hairatan in the province.
Twelve volleyball teams from Kaldar, Shortapah and Hairatan districts participated in the contest which was organized by the Balkh Volleyball Federation with the financial support from Ghazanfar Foundation.
Mohammad Naeem Maher, president of the federation, told Afghanistan Peace Watch (APW) that several religious scholars, elders and cultural figures attended the closing ceremony, adding the event was initiated by young athletes who wanted to be a symbol of peace, as well as promote a culture of peace-building through sports.
“The contest coincided with the start of intra-Afghan peace talks,” he said, adding “all the participants unanimously called for peace.”
Amid the ongoing intra-Afghan talks which got underway on Saturday, the athletes and spectators urged the peace negotiating parties to put an end to their differences and hostilities so that sustainable peace could be established in the country.
The sports competition comes as fighting is ruthlessly raging in a number districts in Balkh province between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.