MAIDAN SHAHR (Pajhwok): Peace activists coming all the way from southern Helmand province on foot have reached this capital city of central Maidan Wardak province after walking for 35 days. The activists were warmly welcomed in Maidan Shahr.
The activists after reaching the provincial capital addressed a huge gathering at a mosque militants were also present besides government officials, provincial council members and common people.
Journalist and civil society activist Najibullah Fikarmand told Pajhwok Afghan News the peace convoy arrived in Maidan Shahr on Sunday noon and a rally was also held in their support.
He said the participants of the rally urged both the government and the Taliban to respond positively to the popular demand of peace and continue the truce beyond Eid holidays.
Hundreds of people accompanied the peace activists to the central mosque. One of the activists in the convoy, Khyber, told Pajhwok that they started their foot journey 35 days ago from Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand and reached Maidan Shahr on Sunday noon.
He said they presented four demands at today’s gathering in Maidan Shahr — permanent ceasefire, known address of the Taliban, inclusive government system and a deadline for withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Khyber said the government instead of calling for warm welcome to the peace activists should accept their demands. He said they held meetings with a number of influential figures in Maidan Wardak and it would be decided later when to proceed towards Kabul.
He said they were eight in number when they started their journey from Helmand but now their strength had reached 72 people.
The foot journey began after a suicide attack killed 16 people including children and wounded 33 others in Lashkargah on March 24.
Sit-ins were held in various provinces in support of the peace movement, but drew little attention from the warring sides.
In his Eid address, President Asrhaf Ghani on Friday urged Kabul residents to warmly welcome the peace activists from Helmand upon reaching the central capital.