Security

Kunduz residents urge Taliban to stop violence during Ramadan

By Hedayatullah

About 100 Kunduz city residents gathered April 8 to urge the Taliban to respect the holy month of Ramadan, lay down their weapons and stop spilling innocent Afghans' blood. [Muhammad Qasem/Salaam Times]

KUNDUZ -- About 100 Kunduz city residents gathered Thursday (April 8) to urge the Taliban to respect the holy month of Ramadan, lay down their weapons and stop spilling innocent Afghans' blood.

Ramadan is set to begin Tuesday in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has seen a surge in violence despite peace talks launched between the Taliban and government last year, with a wave of assassinations targeting high profile Afghans, including journalists, activists and civil servants.

Officials have blamed the Taliban for much of the bloodshed.

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More than 100 Kunduz residents, including religious scholars and women, gather in Kunduz city on April 8 to urge the Taliban to stop violence during the holy month of Ramadan. [Muhammad Qasem/Salaam Times]

A ceasefire should be declared during Ramadan as intra-Afghan talks continue, said Mirza Muhammad Laghmani, a tribal elder who attended the gathering.

"Muslims are obliged to fast, and our people fast, pray and go for taraweeh prayers," he added. "If the fighting is under way, no one can go to taraweeh prayers. The public should not be disturbed during Ramadan."

"It is true that we can fast, but in the presence of war, killing and fratricide, neither our fasting nor prayers will be acceptable to God, nor will we be able to worship in a peaceful environment," Laghmani said.

Similar appeals for a ceasefire last year fell on deaf ears, with the Taliban escalating its attacks during the holy month. This year, residents told Salaam Times, they hope it will be different.

"All Afghans want peace and an end to war and violence. The Taliban must at least stop fighting in the holy month of Ramadan," said Kunduz University law student Fatima Majidi.

Maulawi Azimullah Ahadi, a religious scholar who attended the gathering, called on the warring sides to stop violence in honour of the holy month.

"Ramadan is the month of God's hospitality -- we must properly welcome this month. The killing of Muslims is forbidden in this month," Ahadi said.

"The Taliban should abandon violence and make their demands through negotiations, not by killing Muslims," he added.

Calls for a ceasefire

"I call on the Taliban and other extremist groups to stop violence and bloodshed in the month of Ramadan and declare a ceasefire," said Kunduz city resident Mohammad Arif Muradi.

"Opponents of peace and the enemies of Afghanistan should at least stop terrorist attacks and let Afghans spend the month of Ramadan in peace," he said.

"If war could build this country, it would have been very prosperous by now, but the country will not develop through war and fratricide," said Kunduz provincial council chairman Mohammad Yusuf Ayubi.

"We call on the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire with the police, the army and the government and to not continue the war," he added.

"We want the Taliban to resolve their problems with the government through dialogue," said Kunduz city resident Mohammad Ismail Kaliwal.

"Our graveyards are filled with martyred security personnel and civilians," Kaliwal said. "We have orphans and widows in every home. Thousands of families have no one to look after them with no clear future."

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Alexander: talks should be held with Pakistani generals to end the war In an interview with Voice of America, Christopher Alexander, the former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, said that Taliban do not have the authority to declare a ceasefire, and serious talks need to be held with Pakistani generals to end the war. This former diplomat believes that leaders of the Pakistani army give orders of fighting, and further a proxy war in Afghanistan. You may hear and watch more in this video as to where the conflict comes from in Afghanistan? Who does it? Why they do it? https://www.facebook.com/voapashto/videos/300830478091807/

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Nangarhar provincial governor's office says, security forces seized 689 explosive devises hidden in 26 sacks of lentil that were being transported from Pakistan to Jalalabad. Two persons are detained in allegation of transporting the items. The detained persons confessed to their crime. Pajhwak News Agency

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They did a good thing. May God have the people of Kunduz proud. Indeed, the people of Kunduz province have suffered a lot of pains during the last twenty years as a result of war and have had thousands of martyrs. The people of Kunduz have been the victims of devastating wars more than anyone else.

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I hope that a lasting peace will be achieved in the country with this year’s holy month of Ramadan. The people of Afghanistan are fed up with war; even those who are fighting in the ranks of the armed dissidents have been tired of war and are waiting for intra-Afghan peace talks, and they hope that peace will be achieved in the country. War has also been imposed on them. The problem is with the leaders of this group; they cannot do anything without permission of their leaders. Those who have fought in their ranks for a week will be prosecuted if they leave their ranks. They will be investigated as why they were fighting in their ranks and now they have stopped fighting. I know a large number of dissidents who were obliged to leave the country after they stopped fighting in their ranks because their lives were in danger or threatened by the dissidents. Therefore, people want all sides to give up their personal demands for the sake of the holy month of Ramadan, and put an end to this forty-year old dilemma permanently. For the absolute majority of the people of this country, peace and security as well as a loaf of bread are important. For them, neither the democratic system nor the emirate system or any other system is important. A system is important for the people in which all Islamic values are embedded.

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