JALALABAD (Pajhwok): A disabled mobile credit card seller in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, is optimistic about the ongoing peace talks in Doha.
If peace is established, no one like him would slip into misery and illiteracy, hopes Dilawar Khan Sherzad, 41.
He was 13 years old when war deprived him of the joys of life and left him paralysed. Incapacitation has prevented him from acquiring education.
Dilawar Khan, a resident of the Kadikhel area of Sherzad district, recalls he was disabled when a blind mortar shell landed inside his home during the civil war.
Hoping for peace, the man has lost both his two legs and is now selling credit cards in Jalalabad. He addresses family issues by selling credit cards in the city.
Dilawar Khan is married but has no children, three of his kids have been died but he is not hopeless at all.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, he said: “I was 13 years old when the civil war was ongoing in the country. Some mortar shells hit our house.
“After being injured, relatives took me for treatment to Peshawar (Pakistan). Although I survived, I had to quit education in the first grade. I have thus spent my whole life in hardship.”
However, Sherzad remains hopeful of the peace negotiations between the government and Taliban in Qatar. The talks will bring peace to the country and children will be able to go to school without fear of war, he argues. They will study and steer the country out of crises.
If there had been no war, the amputee believes, he would not have been disabled. Today, the man says, he would have been educated. If peace is achieved, people like him, would not become disabled, he adds.
The mobile phone credit card seller opines if he had been educated, he would have been working for some organisation and he would not be leading such a miserable life.
Sherzad tells the Afghan government and Taliban: “There can be no peace if they (both sides) don’t keep their word. At least they should avoid setting conditions and show a measure of flexibility.”
Ready to forgive the cruelty he had suffered for the sake of peace and prosperity, he thinks the new generation will not face problems and enjoy prosperous lives if peace is restored.
Like Sherzad, war over the last four decades in Afghanistan has claimed many lives and deprived millions of education. The affected individuals are living in misery, forced to beg on streets.
Massoud Safi, head of martyrs and disabled union in Nangarhar, says around 7,000 incapacitated individuals are registered with his organisation.
This report has been produced by Pajhwok and financially supported by UNDP and Denmark.