Nawah residents launch sit-in in solidarity with their Lashkargah counterparts while Balkh activists also pledge support.
Helmand Peace Protest Gathers Momentum
Dozens of people from Helmand’s Nawah district on Monday embarked on their own sit in protest in support of peace protestors in Lashkargah city.
The Lashkargah protestors, including women, have called for a ceasefire by both the Taliban and government following the recent deadly bombing outside a stadium in the provincial capital.
In addition, members of civil society institutions in northern Balkh province also announced their support to protestors in Helmand.
“Whether they are the Taliban or foreigners, they have created major problems for us; our youths are martyred, our women are widowed. This situation has to change and peace must be restored in the country,” said Bismillah, one protestor in Nawah.
A number of religious scholars have also joined the anti-war protestors. They called on the Taliban to announce a ceasefire.
“We strongly support the voice for peace in Helmand. Therefore we are here in this camp, recent attacks in the province have ended people’s patience,” said one religious scholar, Abdul Karim.
People across Afghanistan have expressed their support of the Helmand protestors and lawmakers in Afghanistan’s parliament also came out in support of the move.
Last week dozens of women from Helmand joined the protest by setting up their own sit in camp, alongside the men’s, outside the stadium in Lashkargah City.
The sit-in protest was launched following a deadly suicide car bombing near Ayub Khan Stadium last month, when spectators were leaving a wrestling match. At least 16 people were killed and almost 50 others were wounded in the explosion.
Helmand Ulema Steps In To Help Protestors
The growing support around the country comes a day after Helmand Ulema members announced the establishment of a committee to work with protestors in Lashkargah city in a bid to get their demands for a ceasefire agreed to.
The Ulema committee will reportedly work with the protestors and hold talks with the Taliban.