Ghazni inhabitants welcome peace talks, call for immediate truce

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GHAZNI: War-weary residents in southern Ghazni province grumble about the unending hostilities between the Afghan warring sides, urging them to resolve their issues at the earliest possible and announce a permanent ceasefire.


In a gathering organized in Ghazni city, the provincial capital, on Tuesday, hundreds of inhabitants welcomed the launch of intra-Afghan talks between the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha.  


Lamenting the 40-year-long crisis in Afghanistan, they asked the sides to overcome their sensitive issues and make the talks a success.


“We are thirsty for peace,” Abdul Ahad Marjankhel, a tribal elder, told the gathering, stressing that “those spoilers who are trying to disrupt the talks shouldn’t be given a chance to reach their nefarious designs.”


Razia Mahmoodi, speaking on behalf of women of Ghazni, said peace was a divine command, adding that the war had left women with psychological problems and difficulties. “We hope the ongoing Doha talks might end the war and pave the way for lasting peace in the country.”


Tribal influential figure Nadir Khan Gerwal called on all tribes to get united for peace, saying peace talks could only succeed if there was popular public support for it.


We welcome the Afghan government’s position for making ceasefire a priority atop the negotiations’ agenda. “If a ceasefire is reached, it will raise hopes for peace and put an end to the ongoing crisis.” 


The gathering was attended by many tribal elders, youth, civil society activists, women and peace activists, all of whom said in unison that when there were peace parleys happening, then waging war didn’t mean anything. They jointly called for a truce from the Taliban and the Afghan government in order to pave the way for lasting peace in the country.


This comes as the negotiating sides were scheduled to engage in the first formal session of the intra-Afghan talks on Tuesday in Doha to begin conferring on key and substantive issues; however, as of writing this report, there has been no word whether the meeting happened.