KANDAHAR: Inhabitants of southwestern Nimroz province in a gathering say Afghans are exhausted with continued violence, describing peace as the only demand in the country.
Local officials, clerics, tribal elders, and local people held a gathering in the provincial capital on Friday to discuss a myriad of issues.
Nimroz Governor Zmaraylai Ahadi addressing the gathering, said the ongoing violence was one of the significant barriers for development projects in Afghanistan. “The only solution to the problem is agreement over a stable peace.”
He said that besides retardation in development, the conflicts also left many people killed and women widowed. With the arrival of peace, no more Afghans would suffer from losing their beloved ones, and Afghanistan would thrive and prosper through development and education.
Mulavi Hezbullah Mohammadi, an Islamic scholar, talking on behalf of Ulema, said that peace was a divine order, a public demand, and government officials’ responsibility.
Mohammadi added that violence was not a solution and the Afghan people support only peace as the ultimate resolution to the current crisis.
Nimroz provincial council head, Baz Mohammad Naser, called his province mini-Afghanistan, where he said people from all regions of the country lived. “People here dream of a fruitful conclusion to peace efforts.”
He said given ethnic diversity in Nimroz, it was a suitable place to host the next intra-Afghan negotiations’ phases. Naser said that continuing intra-Afghan talks inside the country was better than abroad.
A tribal elder, Mohammad Seddiq Chakhansori, who also attended the gathering, said that the Afghan public was the primary victim of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the people were tired of violence.
He said that all Nimroz people were ready to host future phases of negotiations in the province.
Suraya Mohammadi, talking on behalf of women in the meeting, stressed the protection of women’s rights in peace negotiations, saying ladies were also the victims of war and their rights should not be ignored during talks.
Mohammad Rassoul, a representative of people with disabilities, speaking to the meeting in a quavering voice, termed war regrettable and asked the Taliban to announce an immediate ceasefire.
All the participants said that they support peace negotiations, current government and protection of past gains as the gathering concluded.
Intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and government started about three months ago and the two teams were able to agree only on the procedures for talks during the period.
On December 12, the two sides announced a three-week recess and said negotiations would resume on January 5.