Afghan peace movement gains more traction
Arriving in Kabul last week after almost 40 days and 700 km of walking under the scorching sun of Afghanistan, the Peace Caravan is determined to make its appeal heard in the capital: they will conduct three days of sit-ins in front of every embassy and international mission involved in the conflict.
This has been going on for weeks now, and it is beginning to have an effect, but it doesn't affect the Taliban.
So the peace marchers have a new plan for that as well.
A group of People’s Peace Movement activists will be assigned to travel to Taliban-controlled areas and hold talks with the group, leaders of the movement said Saturday.
The remarks came as peace activists continued their sit-in protest outside the Russian embassy in Kabul.
Members of the movement said the Afghan government has accepted their demands and that they will now take their peace demand to the Taliban.
“We have formed a committee comprised of elders and religious scholars. The assignment of the committee is to travel to Taliban-controlled areas and talk to them,” the head of the movement Mohammad Iqbal Khyber told TOLOnews on Saturday.
Among the activists was Mohammad Azim, 85, who tore his collar during an interview with a TOLOnews reporter. This was to demonstrate how tired they are of war and how important it is that peace is established in Afghanistan.
One of his three sons is a Taliban fighter, he said.
“Those who do not accept peace and reconciliation are infidels. I don’t fear anyone. I fear from Almighty Allah who has created the earth and the sky,” Azim said.
These are some truly amazing and fearless people. Through their courage a window of opportunity for peace is opening, and governments are noticing.
On a surprise visit to Afghanistan Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed for peace talks with the Taliban, indicating that the Trump administration would be willing to take part in discussions led by the Afghan government.
Meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Pompeo dubbed the Trump administration’s approach to the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan a success.
This is starting to feel like the South Korea peace movement, where the popular demands of the people are pushing the local governments toward peace, and the Trump Administration doesn't have to do anything except not get in the way.