90 per cent Afghans prefer dialogue to end war

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A new survey released said a majority of the Afghans believe the decades-old conflict in their country could be brought to an end by intra-Afghan dialogue.

Conducted by the Regional Center for Strategic Studies (RCSS), the survey said 90 percent of the respondents believed peace with the rebels was possible only by peace dialogue.

Abdul Baqi Amin, RCSS head, presented the survey report at a press conference in capital Kabul.

Titled ‘Deadlock of Peace and Solution, the survey was launched in Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Kunduz provinces in three months.

Those interviewed included civil society activists, political activists, university lecturers and other educated people, he said.

He said 82 percent of the interviewees believed the ongoing war in Afghanistan had no winner and ending the conflict was possible only by peace talks.

“Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said the Afghan government has no practical program for brining peace while 73 percent believed Afghanistan has turned into a proxy war ground and Afghans were denied the chance to choose peace,” Amin said.

According to the survey, 76 percent of people said that the High Peace Council (HPC) did not work as an honest mediator.

It said 78 percent of the interviewees preferred a third impartial party for ensuring peace in Afghanistan while 90 percent said there was need for an intra-Afghan plan and dialogue.

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef talking to Pajhwok Afghan News on the sidelines of the meeting, said peace was impossible through military operations. He said the Afghans should create a mechanism for peace and take action for its implementation.

“Form the government side, there is no mechanism and people also do not trust it, a mechanism that all the Afghans can trust should be created, so it would be able to bring peace to the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zaeef criticized the presence of US forces in Afghanistan and said: “There should be a mechanism to specify that for how long the US would stay in Afghanistan, what are their goals.”

He said the US could continue its stay in Afghanistan by implementing economic projects, not by running military bases.