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Editorial: For peace

Wars are scary. Over three decades of bloodshed had claimed enough lives. The soil is red hued. The conflict has wiped out hundreds of families. One generation has grown up in conflict. They see no ray of hope. The new generation will also be lost in the quest for peace and live with the scar on minds, if we failed to show unity. Internal conflicts among Afghans have prevented the country from development. Afghanistan is lagging behind the neighboring countries in almost every field. It is very unfortunate. We are diving in the history which goes 5,000 years back, but sadly we have not learnt from our mistakes.

The Taliban and Haqqani Network are among those who are yet to realize how much blood they have shed but failed to come in power. Violence does not help anyone to ascend the throne. The nation is tired of wars. The insurgents should listen to the Afghan nation and reintegrate back into the society. They have become such addicted to the war that now they do not keep miseries of the people in view. People are tired of wars and they want peace and stability to compete with the neighboring countries. They want true independence— from foreign interference. The country will not be independent in economic and political sense if the insurgent groups continued to reject the peace process.

Ending the war is easy. It only takes strong will and freedom from foreign influence. The peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) proves that reconciliation with insurgents is possible. It took two years to reach a consensus and ink the peace deal. The Taliban and its Afghan affiliates should take the deal as a precedent and the window of peace process as an opportunity. The time is ripe for the Taliban and Haqqani Network to join the peace process and put an end to the decades old conflict which has brought only destruction, nothing else.

As the deal with HIA has proved that the government is ready to engage in peace talks with insurgents without involvement of foreigners, the Taliban shall come forward to end the war. Sans participation of the militants in the peace process, it is impossible to end the violence and rebuild the country. Large-scale attacks in Helmand and Kunduz provinces are short tactical gains which had not helped the Taliban. Therefore, continuation of the war would not help them at all. Political struggle is the best way. Hence, the insurgents shall say announce an unconditional ceasefire and put their demands forward to strike a peace deal. However, flexibility in stance is of utmost importance in any process aimed to settle a dispute between the warring parties.

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