Elders urge sincere efforts to achieve peace
LASHKARGAH (PAN): No sincere peace efforts have been made so far, with the reconciliation process staying hamstrung, tribal elders and religious scholars in Helmand complained on Friday.
During a meeting at the Helmand Tribal Affairs Department, they called upon the government and its armed opponents to explore ways of realising the reconciliation goal.
Tribal Affairs Director Haji Qasim Noorzai acknowledged more efforts were needed for the restoration of peace, a process that should be extended to insurgency-plagued rural areas.
He underlined for reconciliation with the individuals who had joined the insurgency as a result of the government’s failure to provide them with the most elemental facilities.
Noorzai said that the war, taking a heavy toll on Afghanistan’s economy, traditions and holy places, had been raging for decades. He asked all warring parties to find a political settlement and make joint efforts to rebuild the country.
Haji Matiullah, a tribal elder, accused foreign spy networks of perpetuating a conflict that had brought large-scale devastation only to Afghans.
There were many ways of bringing peace to the country, including employment opportunities for youth, he said, urging the High Peace Council to hold direct negotiations with militant leaders.
Another tribal elder from Nava district, Lal Mohammad, remarked the government and its peace council had lost their way. They were relying on support from the people who had been stoking the flames of war, he said.
The council was trying to woo anti-peace forces, he said in a not-so-veiled reference to Pakistan. Mohammad asked the peace body to work together with elders and religious scholars to achieve the goal of stabilising Afghanistan.
Haji Allauddin also believed the government and the Taliban held the key to peace, telling the authorities to curb corruption and the insurgents to renounce violence. The goal could be achieved only through sincerity of intent, he concluded.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.