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Afghanistan

Peace Activists To Send ‘Bloodstained’ Letter To UN

The People’s Peace Movement said on Tuesday they will send a bloodstained letter to the United Nations on Wednesday in a symbolic gesture about Pakistan’s involvement in the ongoing war.

The peace activists are also on Wednesday expected to leave their current sit-in protest venue - outside the Pakistan embassy in Kabul – and move to the Iranian embassy.

The activists have spent the past 12 days outside the Pakistan embassy and have called on Islamabad to cooperate honestly with Afghanistan in its bid for peace.

Bismillah Watandost, a spokesman for the movement, said their “bloodstained letter” was a symbolic move and aimed to highlight that Pakistan has been a ‘harmful’ neighbor to Afghanistan for decades.

He said Pakistan has literally “given the knife to some people in Afghanistan to kill their own countrymen”.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul is the movement’s next destination, Watandost said.

“The blood of our hands will be shed on the letter and will be sent to the United Nations. The purpose of the gesture is to show that Pakistan has always used one of our hands in Afghanistan and has stained our other hand with blood. It means that it (Pakistan) has given guns to one Afghan brother to kill another Afghan with that same gun,” Watandost said.

Abdul Ali, a member of the movement, said he joined the group almost 20 days ago.

Ali only completed Grade 6 at school and said his children have also been deprived of an education due to the war in their area in Helmand province.

“War has damaged our business and our agriculture. It cannot grow when there is war. We live in a situation where there is no school,” he said.

The original members of the peace movement launched a sit-in protest in Lashkargah city in Helmand after a deadly car bomb was detonated outside a sports stadium in the city.

A few weeks later, eight protestors embarked on a 38-day walk to Kabul to carry a message of peace. After covering almost 700km, the group had grown and by the time they reached Kabul on June 18 they numbered around 100.

But their actions have taken a toll on them and some said their families are now facing financial problems.

Abdul Malik Hamdard, a member of the movement, said he has not paid the rent of his Helmand house for five months and has been told to vacate the property.

“I will not be hurt even if my family is sacrificed for this purpose. Peace is our purpose,” he said.

“Those who accompanied us from the beginning, have left their businesses and shops and their families are facing problems. We thought that our problems would be solved by such a move but now we see that our problems have doubled,” said Mohammad Nekzad, who controls the movement’s finances.

The movement has so far held sit-in protests outside the UN’s office as well as US, Russian and Pakistani embassies in Kabul.

Afghanistan

Peace Activists To Send ‘Bloodstained’ Letter To UN

Members of the peace movement say they want Pakistanis to know their government is not honest in its dealings with Afghanistan.

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The People’s Peace Movement said on Tuesday they will send a bloodstained letter to the United Nations on Wednesday in a symbolic gesture about Pakistan’s involvement in the ongoing war.

The peace activists are also on Wednesday expected to leave their current sit-in protest venue - outside the Pakistan embassy in Kabul – and move to the Iranian embassy.

The activists have spent the past 12 days outside the Pakistan embassy and have called on Islamabad to cooperate honestly with Afghanistan in its bid for peace.

Bismillah Watandost, a spokesman for the movement, said their “bloodstained letter” was a symbolic move and aimed to highlight that Pakistan has been a ‘harmful’ neighbor to Afghanistan for decades.

He said Pakistan has literally “given the knife to some people in Afghanistan to kill their own countrymen”.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul is the movement’s next destination, Watandost said.

“The blood of our hands will be shed on the letter and will be sent to the United Nations. The purpose of the gesture is to show that Pakistan has always used one of our hands in Afghanistan and has stained our other hand with blood. It means that it (Pakistan) has given guns to one Afghan brother to kill another Afghan with that same gun,” Watandost said.

Abdul Ali, a member of the movement, said he joined the group almost 20 days ago.

Ali only completed Grade 6 at school and said his children have also been deprived of an education due to the war in their area in Helmand province.

“War has damaged our business and our agriculture. It cannot grow when there is war. We live in a situation where there is no school,” he said.

The original members of the peace movement launched a sit-in protest in Lashkargah city in Helmand after a deadly car bomb was detonated outside a sports stadium in the city.

A few weeks later, eight protestors embarked on a 38-day walk to Kabul to carry a message of peace. After covering almost 700km, the group had grown and by the time they reached Kabul on June 18 they numbered around 100.

But their actions have taken a toll on them and some said their families are now facing financial problems.

Abdul Malik Hamdard, a member of the movement, said he has not paid the rent of his Helmand house for five months and has been told to vacate the property.

“I will not be hurt even if my family is sacrificed for this purpose. Peace is our purpose,” he said.

“Those who accompanied us from the beginning, have left their businesses and shops and their families are facing problems. We thought that our problems would be solved by such a move but now we see that our problems have doubled,” said Mohammad Nekzad, who controls the movement’s finances.

The movement has so far held sit-in protests outside the UN’s office as well as US, Russian and Pakistani embassies in Kabul.

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