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Taliban also want peace, intra-Afghan talks: PPM

Taliban also want peace, intra-Afghan talks: PPM

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Jun 08, 2019 - 17:46

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The People Peace Movement (PPM) on Saturday said its members discussed peace, ceasefire and US troops’ withdrawal with Talibaninfo-icon militants in southern Helmand province.

The peace movement members embarked on a foot journey to Musa Qala, a Taliban stronghold, late on May 30 from Lashkargah, the provincial capital, to demand the hard-line movement and government forces commit to a lasting cease-fire.

Covering more than 150 kilometers, walking through farmlands and battle-scarred villages, they reached Musa Qala, but were arrested by Taliban militants.

The PPM emerged from a protest in March 2018 and gained public recognition and backing after marching to the capital, Kabulinfo-icon.

Following sit-in protests outside embassies, PPM members trekked to the northern province of Balkh across the Hindu Kushinfo-icon Mountains.

Iqbal Khayber, the movement’s head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they met with Taliban members in Musa Qala district on the 3rd day of Eid-ul-Fitr and discussed with them the peace process.

He said the Taliban behaved with them nicely and provided them great hospitality. “The Taliban also want peace and talks with other Afghans on the country’s conflict, we will try to make people’s minds about what the Taliban think.”

He said they discussed peace, truce and US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistaninfo-icon with the insurgents.

Ghulam Sarwar, another member of the PPM, said: “When we met the Taliban, we observed they also want peace.”

He said their group members were allowed by the Taliban to enter Musa Qala district because they had no links with any political party and their only cause was working for lasting peace.

Zmari Zaland, another PPM member, that during their meeting with Taliban, they noted a lot of changes in Taliban’s attitude and thinking compared to their past.

A number of other members of the PPM held similar views and said they would continue their efforts for peace process.

pk/ma

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