Members of the Helmand Peace Convoy, who walked almost 700km to Kabul in protest against the war, said on Wednesday that they have issued a list of demands to the Taliban and are waiting for the group’s response.
The peace activists said they will stay in Kabul until peace has been restored to the country.
The activists, whose ages range from 17 to 65, come from all walks of life and include students, athletes and farmers among others.
Among the activists is Zmarai Zaland, 34, who is a bodybuilder.
Zaland said he started bodybuilding 14 years ago and has won a number of medals in national and in South Asian competitions.
Zaland, who joined the convoy in Kandahar, said he did however struggle with injured feet on the long walk – but that this did not deter him from reaching Kabul.
“I will continue and will move forward even if I lose my feet. I want peace to come to the country,” said Zaland.
“All members who have come here have children and families. They have left behind what they had and have come here. Sometimes they call the elders and relatives to go to their houses to see if their families need anything,” said Zaland.
Another member of the convoy, Mohammad Tahir Basharyar, said he recently graduated from school. He joined the convoy in Kandahar province.
“When I joined the convoy, I told my family that I will not return until peace is achieved,” said Basharyar.
Abdul Salam Bayan, another member of the convoy has a degree in computer science and is a university lecturer. He said he hopes peace is restored to the country.
“My only wish is to see peace in the country,” said Bayan.
The peace convoy members said if the Taliban does not accept their demands and fail to announce a ceasefire, they will go to the homes of the Taliban and appeal to them to stop the violence.
Helmand peace convoy members started their protest over two months ago after an explosion outside a stadium in Lashkargah. The activists first embarked on a sit-in protest and then eight of them started the long walk to Kabul.
As they marched through towns and villages, more and more people joined them. By the time they reached Kabul health officials told TOLOnews there were at least 70 in total – however activists say there could be over 100.