Civil society’s role in peace mustn’t be ignored

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HERAT: Civil society activists in western Herat province have said their voice for peace should not be ignored and the opportunity created for ending the conflict should be availed of.

They made the remarks during brief exclusive interviews with OrbandNews.

Abdul Latif, deputy head of Herat Civil Society Coordination Center, said civil society institutes who operated under the government’s auspices had always worked for the development of the society.

Samim Tamim, a law student at Herat University, said that youths backed by media, civil society institutes, government and humanitarian organizations were the elements of change in freedom of speech, education, prosperity, sports and good relations with the world.

Another civil society activist, Faiz Mohammad Kakar, who is head of Loi Kandahar Association in Herat, told OrbandNews that peace was the need of Afghans. Therefore, the efforts of civil society activists, Ulema and national institutes made in this regard over the past several years should not be ignored.

He said that recent meetings of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) created hopes for peace, stressing that politicians, particularly the president, should give up their personal interests and work for peace.

The chance made available for ending the conflict and bringing peace to the country may not be repeated in the future; therefore it should be taken advantage of, he said.

Sayed Ashraf Sadat, a member of Herat Urban Consultative Council, said, “Peace is our aspiration, but the most important thing is that the peace process would come only when our neighbors do not interfere.”

He said that peace in Afghanistan would not succeed as long as regional countries continued financing insurgent groups.

Afghans, especially young people, tribal elders and clerics, have concluded that the solution to all problems in the country is only peace, Sadat believes.  

However, he said there should be no secret deals for power-sharing and steps towards achieving a lasting peace should be taken carefully, so no past mistakes of civil wars are repeated again.