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Afghanistan

Peace Activists Send Bloodstained Letter To UN

Members of the People’s Peace Movement will head for the Iranian embassy on Wednesday. 

People’s Peace Movement activists on Wednesday sent a bloodstained letter to the United Nations calling for an end to the war. 

The activists are currently holding a sit-in protest outside the Pakistan embassy in Kabul.

The activists, who have been outside the embassy for 13 days, said on Wednesday that no Pakistani officials have met with them in this time. 

They said Wednesday’s letter was for the UN but they addressed it to “the people of Pakistan and the world” and said the bloodshed is due to the “Pakistan’s intelligence, army and government”.

They accused Pakistan of supporting the war against Afghan forces and called for an immediate end to the bloodshed. 

The letter signed and dated July 25, 2018, has been handed over to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), they said adding that they have asked UNAMA to send the letter on to the United Nations headquarters. 

In a symbolic gesture of all the lives lost in Afghanistan in the 17-year-old war, the activists also smeared the letter with their own blood. 

Using a sharp knife, a number of activists sliced the palms of their hands, and then wiped their blood on the letter. 

The peace activists are expected to leave the Pakistan embassy on Wednesday afternoon and move to the Iranian embassy.

They said they will protest outside this embassy for about 15 days and will then walk to Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Balkh province. 

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 original members of the peace movement launched a sit-in protest in Lashkargah city in Helmand in March 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 carrying 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 Send Bloodstained Letter To UN

Members of the People’s Peace Movement will head for the Iranian embassy on Wednesday. 

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People’s Peace Movement activists on Wednesday sent a bloodstained letter to the United Nations calling for an end to the war. 

The activists are currently holding a sit-in protest outside the Pakistan embassy in Kabul.

The activists, who have been outside the embassy for 13 days, said on Wednesday that no Pakistani officials have met with them in this time. 

They said Wednesday’s letter was for the UN but they addressed it to “the people of Pakistan and the world” and said the bloodshed is due to the “Pakistan’s intelligence, army and government”.

They accused Pakistan of supporting the war against Afghan forces and called for an immediate end to the bloodshed. 

The letter signed and dated July 25, 2018, has been handed over to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), they said adding that they have asked UNAMA to send the letter on to the United Nations headquarters. 

In a symbolic gesture of all the lives lost in Afghanistan in the 17-year-old war, the activists also smeared the letter with their own blood. 

Using a sharp knife, a number of activists sliced the palms of their hands, and then wiped their blood on the letter. 

The peace activists are expected to leave the Pakistan embassy on Wednesday afternoon and move to the Iranian embassy.

They said they will protest outside this embassy for about 15 days and will then walk to Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Balkh province. 

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 original members of the peace movement launched a sit-in protest in Lashkargah city in Helmand in March 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 carrying 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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