AVA- The rally was organized by local residents to welcome a delegation from the People’s Peace Movement (PPM), which visited the area from the restive Helmand province.
“We want peace,” demonstrators chanted as they marched through the streets of provincial capital Asadabad. “Stop the murder of innocent Afghans.”
Addressing the rally, PPM co-founder Iqbal Khyber urged both the Taliban and the Kabul government to agree to a ceasefire and thus end the bloodshed.
“We call on the Taliban to end this war, which has been imposed upon us,” Khyber said.
The grass-roots peace movement was established last year in Helmand after a suicide bomber killed scores of civilians in provincial capital Lashkargah.
During a visit to Kabul in June of last year, PPM members were enthusiastically received by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
“I’m ready to sit with them [i.e., the Taliban leadership] for talks -- in the desert, the mountains, in a mosque, wherever,” Ghani had said at the time.
The Taliban, meanwhile, remain defiant in their refusal to recognize the Kabul government as the legitimate representative of the Afghan people in a second round of talks with the U.S. slated for later this month in Doha.
Wednesday 20 February 2019 03:29