Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Afghans Long for Perpetual Peace

The year 2018 is taking its last breath, but peace still remains elusive in Afghanistan and the public fluctuate between hope and fear. Afghans confirmed their strong desire for peace and reconciliation with exchanging hug with the Taliban insurgents, who reciprocated Kabul’s three-day ceasefire in June.
Despite sustaining heavy casualties and bearing the brunt of insurgency, Afghans did not repress their smiles with their killers, who only accepted a three-day ceasefire and would resume spilling the blood of the same individuals who smiled and shot selfies with them. The Taliban’s hearts did not melt with the three-day smiles of men, women and children which filled Kabul streets on Eid Days. But Afghans desired for a perpetual smile.
Being intolerant to the public smile and peace of mind, the Taliban insurgents resumed their militancy and put an end to the smile.
Everyone has heard the heartbreaking stories of war and violence in Afghanistan, but those who resurface with hope and determination from the ashes of war have been neglected. The children who go to school for a better future, the women who compete in presidential and parliamentary elections to protect the rights of people, and the individuals who flock to ballot boxes with twinkling eyes despite the life-threating danger and inspire confidence in me and make me optimist about future life.
Insurgency has also taken heavy toll on Afghan soldiers but could not deter them. To view the country’s history, Afghan soldiers fought long battles with strong determination. The Taliban insurgents should know that Afghan soldiers seek to prove their commitment to the nation through their blood. So, the soldiers’ indomitable spirit is another source of hope for people.
The Taliban will not be able to rule Afghanistan with the barrel of gun. The Taliban’s regime was one of the darkest point in the country’s history and, after breathing the relative air of freedom, no individual will accept a regime with Taliban’s ideology. The Taliban have already confessed that they would not win through war. It is self-explanatory that the Taliban have also sustained heavy casualties and lost their high-level figures, especially in 2018. Therefore, they target civilians and wage attacks on public places to trigger fear. That is, through indiscriminate attacks and suicide bombings, insurgents intend to increase the level of public dissatisfaction with the government. This act will increase dissatisfaction but never prompts the public to support insurgents. Since it cannot be won through war; negotiation is the only alternative for peace.
Both Afghan nation and state urge the Taliban to stop their insurgency and resolve their issue through negotiations. It is crystal clear that war will only lead to casualties and destruction, which will benefit neither sides. What is the benefit of a weak or destroyed Afghanistan to the Taliban? It shows that the Taliban are used as pawns in the war against government.
Afghans understand that since Afghanistan was beleaguered with decades of war, bringing in peace and security will take time. What is undeniable is that the hearts and minds of Afghans are with the government. For example, people flock to ballot boxes to cast their votes for a democratic government. They support the constitution and other national laws so that they will be able to exercise their rights and freedoms in a better way.
With this in mind, the ragtag militant group will not win through war and should not seek to impose their will on people by the gun. The current bloodshed clearly reflects the Taliban’s ideology and their cruel attitude. Similarly, their harsh practices during their regime still haunt people’s mind. So, the Taliban are able neither to win the public support nor satisfy their needs for freedoms, rights or democracy. Thus, they had better stop seeking to foist their mindset on Afghans through killing them.
To cut the long story short, with the approach of 2019, the Taliban have to come to the table with Kabul government and stop inflicting further casualties on people. Afghans will again cast their votes to ballot boxes in presidential election with hope for peace and security. It is now time for peace and reconciliation. The insurgents have to use the current platform for negotiations with Kabul government and resolve their differences on the table – this is the most logical way. We wish Afghans have a happy year ahead and smile for the entire year.