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Afghans sit-in camps for peace

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Afghans sit-in camps for peace
 The grass-roots call for peace by some residents that began as a sit-in in southern Helmand province is gathering momentum and spreading to other provinces of the country. The sit-in begun after a car bomb explosion on March, near a sport stadium in the provincial capital of Lashkargah, killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens more.
The attack occurred while a wrestling match was underway. The Taliban did not officially claim responsibility, but Afghan officials assigned blame to the insurgent group, saying it typically denies responsibility for attacks that kill large number of civilians.
Later on, a group of young local men began a sit-in at the capital of the province and demanded an end to violence. Later, women joined the sit-in and urged the warring sides to end the vicious cycle of violence that has been tearing through the nation.
But, the initial anti-war sit-in turned into a hunger strike after the Taliban rejected the protesters’ please for peace and instead warned them not to go near Taliban territory. The strike continued for three days before religious clerics intervened and encouraged protesters to eat.
Now the demonstrations have begun in western Herat and central Bamyan provinces as well as Paktia, where dozens of protesters got together and expressed their solidarity with the Helmand peace sit-in.
The violence persistently continues and is indeed a humanitarian disaster for the people of Afghanistan. The insurgents, including Taliban should seek negotiations rather than violence and bloodshed and help government for reconstruction campaign in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan, especially Afghan mothers, cry out for the wars to cease and for their children to be fed and educated.
Every Afghan citizen eagerly wishes a day in which their children and youths could go to school, university or market without fear of dead and explosions. While both government and people repeatedly have called on Taliban to join peace process, but unfortunately, they have reacted with bombing and massacring the innocent people.
At the Kabul Process II conference on 28 February of the current year, President Ashraf Ghani proposed to launch peace talks with Taliban without preconditions, offering to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political group, and presenting a number of significant proposals to be included in a peace process and it was also welcomed by most people and international community, but then Taliban has responded it with multiple attacks in several provinces including Helmand, Farah and Kabul.
The recent sit-in in Helmand, Paktia, Herat and Bamyan reflect widespread resentment against war and violence across Afghanistan. It resembles a similar but much bigger protest in neighboring Pakistan in which Pashtuns staged a 10-day protest in the capital, Islamabad, to demand security and rights.
Therefore the insurgent groups, in particular, Taliban should reconsider Afghan peace offer opportunity and think about country’s interests, otherwise these conflicts will produce no winner except farther destruction of the country and killing of the innocent masses who have suffered almost four decades of war and bloodshed and have lost their family members, houses and even limbs of their body.