KABUL (Tolo News): Religious scholars, activists and residents of Herat at two gatherings said the peace negotiations should be expedited and that the Afghan government and the Taliban should make efforts to end violence in the country. The religious scholars called the ongoing war in the country illegitimate and said more efforts are needed for peace.
“When two Muslim groups are fighting against each other, it is the duty of the Muslim nation to invite the two groups for peace and reconciliation,” said Abdul Basir Sediqqi, a religious scholar. “Peace is the principle, not war. War is not legitimate,” said Abdul Hadi Wasiqi, a religious scholar.
In another gathering, a number of Herat activists and youth meanwhile criticized the government for what they called ignoring their rights in the peace efforts. “The west zone has been sidelined over the last 20 years,” said Abdulhadi Qane, a civil society activist in Herat. Herat residents said that the targeted attacks should also end.
“There should be an immediate ceasefire and they should continue and prevent targeted killings,” said Khalilullah Mohammadi, a Herat resident. “We demand the continuation of the negotiations so that people achieve peace after decades of war,” said Nasir Ahmad Ayubi, a university lecturer. This comes as representatives of Russia, China, the US and Pakistan in a joint statement said they would not support the return of the Islamic emirate system in Afghanistan.
The statement recognized the will of the Afghan people for peace, called for a reduction in violence from all sides and for the Taliban to not launch a Spring offensive, and reiterated calls for a negotiated settlement for the conflict.
The statement also called on participants in the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage immediately in discussions on fundamental issues to resolve the conflict.