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President Ghani highlights potential for Afghan peace

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that Afghans were no longer the prisoners of the past and they can live in peace. He also said the government of Afghanistan is ready to overcome the past in order to achieve peace.

“We have the will, capital, capabilities, and desire for peace, but we must have compassion, commitment and courage to find the peace,” he said yesterday. He made the observation while delivering a lecture on the Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan, organized by the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS), at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. The lecture was moderated by CHS director Sultan Barakat.

President Ghani stressed the need and desire of the Afghan people for peace and brought home the point that peace can certainly be achieved in his country. He highlighted the different aspects of Afghanistan’s history, culture, religion, and economy in support of his arguments that peace can be established.

“Peace in Afghanistan cannot be the peace of one group. It must be the peace of the people because the people are sovereign,” the president said.

“Conflict is very easy. It becomes an automatic force, but the people responsible (for the conflict) should realize that people die due to their orders,” said President Ghani.

Alluding to the Taliban, he said: “We must show compassion for the weak people who are being killed and for our religious values that do not allow the killing of innocent people. “We must show some courage to embrace peace. We should be committed to peace as it is not going to be an easy road.

“Afghans are not the prisoners of the past. They can live in peace. “We have died enough. We must embrace living together. We must have courage to declare a national ceasefire.”

Highlighting the efforts of his government for peace, the president said: “In four days, the Loya Jirga decided to release some 400 prisoners. It was a courageous decision as we want peace.

“The Afghan nation has passed the test of showing courage for peace with flying colors. Peace is guaranteed by an end state. There is a democratic government in Afghanistan, backed by the international community.”

The president also added: “The negotiating team has full authority and mandate of the people of Afghanistan. “This is the first team that is not going to be micromanaged.”

Speaking about the nature of the conflict in his country, President Ghani said: “The conflict is not a civil war in Afghanistan. It is not a separatist war. There is no faction fighting for separation. They are fighting to control the center.

“There is great potential for peace, as all want to live in Afghanistan.” He further underlined the points that can lead to peace.

President Ghani said: “We have the most Islamic constitution in the world. Over 99% of the people are Muslims.

“Afghanistan has a long history of Islam and Islamic civilization. Religion is not a dividing force but a binding force in the country.” Highlighting the role of Afghan women, he mentioned their bravery and courage to speak up.

“The women of Afghanistan do not need someone to speak for them or write for them. They can speak for themselves, and they can represent themselves,” the president said. “There are numerous examples in history when Afghan women took up arms against the British, and successfully defended their homeland.”

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