Afghanistan crisis: Civil society calls for an end to conflict
Civil society representatives at a series of UN-backed radio programmes in Central Afghanistan called on the parties to stop fighting and return to the negotiating table.
The series is part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's (UNAMA) outreach effort to facilitate dialogue at the community level.
During the radio programmes in Panjshir, Parwan and Kapisa provinces, speakers representing religious institutions, civil society, women councils, academia, and youth groups stressed that there is no justification for violence, armed conflict and loss of lives, UNAMA said in a statement.
They asserted that the wellbeing of all Afghans should be the focus of the peace talks.
"Women and youth are the main victims of war and must stand up against it," said a rights activist, Shayesta Mehraban, in Panjshir. "The youth must convince each other that war is not the solution - we are all suffering and being killed in the war. If the youth stop fighting, the war inevitably ends."
At a radio roundtable in Kapisa, Najibullah Rahimi, a former member of the Kapisa Provincial Council, said that waging war is "forbidden by the Sharia and international laws - because it is killing people, destroying houses and public facilities".
"It is the religious and moral responsibility of every Afghan to play their role in stopping the war because war cannot be won with war, it must end, Afghans are no longer able to tolerate it," she added.
Another speaker, Shamela Begi, stressed that tolerance and respect for each other views are key to disputes through reason and peaceful means.
"There is no alternative to peace, and Afghans are in dire need of peace, they should multiply efforts to establish peace and end the war by combating all ethnic, religious and regional differences," Shamela Begi argued.
In Parwan, Roya Sabet, a women's rights activist, reminded that "war has devastating effects on our individual, family, and social life, especially more grievous for women."
Roya Sabet called on the warring parties to refrain from killing each other, avoid civilian casualties and end the war to have a progressive and prosperous Afghanistan.
Maulavi Ahmadullah Hasheminajad, a religious scholar in Panjshir, said "if war could bring development and prosperity, the people of Afghanistan would have the most prosperous life in the world, but unfortunately, because of the longstanding conflict we are staying behind".
"Peace is the guarantor of any progress," stressed Hashminajad.
Participants unanimously reiterated the need to end the conflict which they said had caused devastation and untold sufferings to millions of Afghans for decades.
The UNAMA facilitated radio series was organized and aired out by Radio Kechken in Panjshir, Radio Dunya Naween in Parwan and Radio Sada-e-Nijrab in Kapisa.
UNAMA works with various institutions and individuals, including community leaders, youth groups, women and local media stations to create platforms - using radio, social media and television - for Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.
In accordance with its mandate as a special political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. The UN in Afghanistan is an entirely civilian organization delivering its mandate with impartiality, according to the UN Charter.