FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): A 30-year-old man from northeastern Badakhshan province, with experience in resolving dozens of family disputes, believes rival parties could reach a settlement if they have the spirit of self-sacrifice and flexibility to achieve peace in the country.
The young man, named Mohammad Ismail Sami, is a resident of the Chamarch Bala village of Nassi Darwaz district. He has graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the Takhar University.
After graduation, besides mediating among squabbling individuals –something he inherited from his father –Sami has also served as a teacher at an institute he has established to prepare students for entrance exams.
Sami is the son of “Kof Wall” who was widely respected as an influential tribal elder and solving cases among the people of Nasi Darwaz district. After Kof Wall’s death, Sami wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He was determined to maintain public confidence in his family.
The only individual with a Bachelor’s degree in his district eight years ago, the energetic man decided to make the most of his talent and abilities. He resolved to carry forward his father’s mission with complete honesty and to resolve disputes among area families.
He called the continuation of war in the country the main source of problems among families at the village and district level. He opined people’s pain and problems would go away if the war came to an end — something that would open a new window of peace.
“The only thing I want is to realise my aspirations as soon as possible, he said, voicing optimism about ending the conflict and bringing peace to the country.
To Sami, peace alone offers a solution to Afghanistan’s problems. In the past eight years, Sami said, he had settled more than 80 disputes, including squabbles over land, water distribution, inheritance, domestic violence and murder in the district and elsewhere.
In acknowledgement of untiring efforts, he enjoys the confidence of Nassi Darwaz residents. He is also respected by inhabitants of other districts of the province for his spirit to serve the masses.
“In the current situation, dispute resolution through jirga is a difficult task; but I continue this way with all the problems if even ends in my death,” he added.
Referring to the latest case resolved through his mediation, the man said: “This rift, very interesting to me, involved two brothers and sisters who were fighting for their shares in their father’s land.
“Even young people in their families tried to kill each other. But I managed to resolve the issue. I’m so happy that the three-year inheritance tiff among them has been sorted out.”
Sami warned of possible bloodshed between families and either side could join the Taliban if disputes were not resolved through mediation or jirga.
Saifuddin, 65, a resident of Nassi Darwaz district, had a dispute with his brother and sister over shares in their father’s land for three years However, the issue was settled as a result of mediation by Sami.
Saifuddin told Pajhwok: “Several times during the three years we referred to judicial organs. But this yielded no result and our problem persisted.”
He was with the resolution of the three-year dispute. “The tribal jirg, led by Sami, not only addressed our tiff but also made our relations amicable.”
He commended efforts by Sami and said: “I wish such understanding and honest mediators emerge to end the 40-year war in Afghanistan by make peace between the two brothers — the government and the Taliban.”
Sami said he had been able to resolve most of disputes caused by unwholesome traditions, low level of literacy, poverty and lack of public awareness regarding religious teachings.
Resolving such problems could be effective in reducing insecurity and unrest in the community, and even in bringing peace to the country.
In his opinion, in addition to external factors, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination and superiority of one ethnic group over another are the other major factors behind the continued war in Afghanistan.
Sami called the current peace process a golden opportunity to end the four decades of conflict. If the warring parties show flexibility, peace could be achieved easily, he maintained.
He expressed happiness with the progress made in the Doha peace negotiations leading to the signing of the agreement between the US and Taliban. He also hailed the launch of direct government-Taliban talks.
Sami, himself a victim of the war, said domestic disputes in his district had made him so busy that he had no opportunity to continue higher education.
“Currently there is a golden opportunity for the Taliban and the Afghan government to bury the hatchet without wasting time. This opportunity must be seized.”
This enterprising man advocated for the tolerance of dissent, colors and avoidance of discrimination on the basis of faith, colour and politival views.
National unity must be promoted and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, language, culture and religion avoided to achieve lasting peace in the country, he suggested
“If the government and the Taliban demonstrate respect for the public aspiration for peace, they must agree on a permanent ceasefire, before debating the national interest, the value of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people,” he concluded.