Cycling for peace

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“We wish to promote the message of peace through sports and want to cycle all around the country in a peaceful environment,” Samangan athlete told OrbandNews.


BALKH: A team of six cyclists on Friday started their journey from the capital of northern Samangan province and arrived at Mazar-e-Sharif city, the capital of northern Balkh province, for spreading the message of peace around the country.


Primarily organized for lending support to the ongoing peace talks, the team cycled for 200 kilometers in order to convey their message. The Balkh governor’s house lauded the riders through appreciation letters, as well as bouquets.


The athletes believed that ensuring peace was one of the country’s national priorities and values. Supporting harmony through different sports programs could help promote the culture of peace in the society, they added.


Moreover, they stressed that ongoing talks had risen hopes for peace in the Afghan public, saying their team would cycle all over the country if peace were to establish.


“We want to cycle in a peaceful environment across the country”


Asadullah Esar, one of the cyclists, said that their voyage was aimed at communicating to tell people that all classes of the Afghan society desired peace and stability in their country.


He added that they wished to promote the message of peace through sports. “We want to cycle all around the country in a peaceful environment,” he said.


Mohammad Alam Nawabi, another cyclist with a smiling face, said, “We are the athletes of peace. We want to tell others that we can exercise in a safe environment and can bring prides to our country.”


Pointing to the ongoing conflict and bloodshed in Afghanistan, he thought that instability rendered the whole country to remain retrogressive.


Nawabi urged all Afghans to get united for supporting the intra-Afghan talks, as well as for prosperity and freedom of the country.


Sportspeople play a significant role in promoting peace culture


Abdulhaq Khurami, mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif, who welcomed the cyclists, said that sportspeople had a fundamental role in instigating a culture of peace.


He said that conflicts in the country had affected youths and sportsmen but they could have many achievements if peace was established.


Khurami asked youths to participate in national issues such as the peace process to build their capacities and represent their part.


Raess Abdul Khaliq, a lawmaker from Balkh province, also encouraged the sportsmen and said that the cyclists’ efforts could be effective in promoting peace.


He was optimistic about ongoing talks and hoped the negotiations would not be limited to verbal promises but instead produce a tangible outcome. He said that it was the responsibility of all the people to support peace talks.


Intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government were launched in Doha on September 12; however, no significant breakthrough has been so far made. This is while Afghan masses hope that the talks would one day culminate in a peace agreement and bring an end to the bloody war.