A large number of Kunar residents on Tuesday attended a big rally organized by People’s Peace Movement, also called the Helmand peace convoy, where they called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire and provide the ground for brining a sustainable peace to the country.
The activists chanted the slogans of “stop Afghan genocide” and “war is enough”, and asked government to leave no stone unturned in accelerating the efforts for peace.
Participants of the rally reiterated their call on the warring parties to declare a ceasefire.
The Helmand peace activists initially launched their protest in Lashkargah City after a suicide bombing outside a stadium last year in March. About a month later, a group of eight protestors left Helmand on foot for Kabul.
The activists walked through towns and villages, crossed provinces and met with local residents along the way. For 38 days, they walked and as they progressed, so their numbers grew.
About 700kms later, the group of eight had grown to an estimated 100. They arrived in Kabul on June 18, 2018 and handed over demands for a ceasefire and peace to both the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The group gave the Taliban three days in which to answer and said if they failed to do so, they would embark on sit in protests outside diplomatic offices and missions in the capital.
The Taliban’s deadline passed without any response. The activists then held a three-day sit-in protest outside UNAMA’s office in Kabul. They sent a letter to the UN Secretary General António Guterres in which they asked him not to remain indifferent towards ending the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
From there, they moved on to the US embassy – where they stayed for nine days. The activists sent a letter to the American people, asking them to put pressure on the US government to end the war in Afghanistan.
The activists, whose ages ranged from 17 to 65, come from all walks of life and included students, athletes and farmers among others.
The activists also established sit-in protest camp in front of Iranian, Pakistan, Russian and British embassies as well as the office of the European Union in Kabul.
The movement called on Afghan allies to put pressure on Pakistan to stop its interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.