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Editorial: Closer to peace

After productive talks with the representatives of Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), Afghan officials have finalized draft of the peace deal. As per official sources, the recent meetings between the two parties were fruitful. Deputy Chief of the High Peace Council, Ataul Rahman Saleem, said that the government and HIA were engaged in talks for the past two years. The extensive talks are yielding positive results. The deal is unexpected. Those who want to see stable Afghanistan are happy at the outcome while others are engaged in changing public opinion to sabotage the deal. The draft of deal has been finalized and the HIA representative, Amin Karim, is hoping that President Ashraf Ghani would soon sign it.

Hopes are high that the deal between Afghan government and HIA will be signed soon if the two parties succeeded in warding off anti-peace elements. Many anti-Afghanistan elements are in the quest to hamper the reconciliation process at any cost. Some are using international media as a tool to alter public opinion about the peace deal while referring to the past. They can also reach to black sheep in the country if their propaganda went unanswered. These people who see wars in Afghanistan as a lucrative business and guardian of their interests are major threat to peace process, especially the proposed reconciliation deal between the HIA and government.

Speaking of a bygone age to poison minds of Afghans could prove a setback for the deal. Therefore, the policymakers in Kabul shall interact with public through multiple channels, from social media to seminars, to counter the anti-peace propaganda. The past has been already written. The ink has dried. What matters is present of and future of the new generation. Stability of the country is imperative for socio-economic and political development of Afghanistan. The deal will usher in a new era of security which would ultimately lead to prosperity.

Letting bygones be bygones is best policy at this critical juncture. In democratic countries, the constitution vests in public the power to reject those whom they don’t like. Therefore, they shall believe in power of ballot. People shall give chance to peace by embracing all those who are ready to renounce violence. Without peace the country will remain stuck at the whirlpool of problems such as fragile economy, capital flight, mass exodus of people, violence against children and women, corruption, illiteracy and nepotism. Thus, the government shall be supported for durable peace and stability. Afghan people shall listen to the government. Paying heed to propaganda of the black sheep or foreigners would not only damage the national unity but can spark a new era of violence which could last for another three decades. We shall not let our next generation to open eyes in this world with the sounds of guns and bombs but with cheers.

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