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Editorial: Welcoming spring with hope

Afghanistan on Sunday marked Nowruz with a traditional flag-raising ceremony in the Blue Mosque city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Balkh province. Afghans from various provinces have come to celebrate this day. But this year’s ceremony in Balkh apparently had fewer participants than last year, and no high-ranking government officials attended the ceremony. But the Afghans hoped that new efforts for peace eventually lead to stability and security in the country. Millions of people around the world have celebrated Nowruz – a festival that marks the Persian New Year and the official beginning of spring. This spring really means a lot for the war-weary Afghans who are hopeful for a better future in the wake of ongoing peace talks. The Afghans started to celebrate Nowruz with praying for peace as in many mosques, the worshippers prayed for ending the war and returning lasting peace. The ongoing deadly and unending war forced millions of Afghans to take refugees in safer places around the world. Since the start of Nowruz coincided with the peace efforts to end the war, the Afghans are very much hopeful to see the Taliban and the Afghan government to iron out their differences through dialogue, and give peace a chance and test the beauty of peace. With peace there is development. Sans the noble cause, the Afghan people will continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing war. It’s with great shame that Afghans are failing to reach consensus among themselves first. Reduction of violence and finding a political solution to the crisis is the urgent need and responsibility of both sides. Both the parties have to stand ready for political compromises for the sake of a peaceful country. Both sides need to come around their demands and finally agree on some terms to help end the war. Recently there was a meeting on the Afghan peace process in Moscow, and another peace conference aimed at finding a solution to the crisis is going to be held in Turkey in early April. This is the best chance for the Afghans to embrace each other, end the hostility and give a positive response to the Afghans plea for peace. War is enough. The Afghans have become fed up with this fatal war as it has taken everything from them. In this New Year the Afghan people are asking the Taliban and government to end the war and bring a durable, sustainable and dignified peace, a long desire of Afghans.

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