FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): Gul Rahman Faraz, a young writer from western Ghor province, says that the Taliban and the government need to show flexibility to make peace in Afghanistan.
The 27-year-old writer is a prominent figure from Ghor province. He received his bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Kabul University. Faraz had written many articles and pieces for creating harmony and unity among people in the last 10 years.
During an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Faraz said, “I have written around 30 articles about peace and its importance, war and its consequences, Afghanistan future, suggestions for peace in the country, criticizing wrong ways for reaching peace, consequences of delay in peace talks and women and leaders’ role in peace.”
He said that he also recently wrote several articles about peace and those who spoil the process, and all of them had published in the country’s popular websites including Pajhwok.
“Publishing of the articles in credible websites, newspapers, weeklies and magazines motivated me to focus on various areas. Media workers always ask me to provide them with special articles on peace. Journalists and media workers tell me that readers take interest in the contents I offer,” he said.
Faraz is a resident of Badgah village on the outskirts of Firozkoh, capital of Ghor province. His first article on peace was between Taimani and Miri tribes, which encouraged the two groups to reconcile.
“I was encouraged to write an article about peace between Miri and Taimani tribes at the time when Abdullah Hiwad was governor of Ghor, before that, I had written an article titled, ‘No one loses in peace’ which was also published in the High Peace Council’s magazine. This article was quoted by a tribal elder, Amanullah Baig and was then expressed as a lesson motivated by a youth,” he said.
A few years later, former Ghor governor, Sayed Anwar Rahmati and Mohammad Amin Tokhi had engaged in a dispute, he said, adding that the dispute was resolved with peace after he wrote an article titled, ‘Officials have no belief in importance of peace’.
“I played a key role in resolving the dispute between Rahmati and Tokhi, I would narrate historic stories about peace, I was usually sharing with people in different ceremonies. I told them that they do not believe in importance of peace which they had previously talked about. They had no any reason and they reconciled for continuing their responsibilities in the administration, it was helpful both for good governance and responding to people’s problems,” he added.
Former Ghor governor and current Bamyan governor, Sayed Anwar Rahmati called Gul Rahman Faraz a powerful writer.
Rahmati told Pajhwok that Faraz was a young writer who wrote meaningful articles. “I found him during my mission as governor in Ghor as a strong civil society activist and writer, because he was young and educated, his articles had influence on all sides without being engaged in any disputes.”
Faraz’s view on peace talks:
Gul Rahman Faraz worries about the Afghan peace process, saying engaged parties were treating the process as something to gain from themselves instead of valuing it as a vital move for the nation.
“I am worried about the Afghan peace process. Unfortunately negotiators do not treat this process as vital to the nation,” he said. “Both the negotiating teams do not see it from the eye of Afghans who are suffering from war and the Taliban on the battlefield, neither side’s tries to resolve their differences.”
He said that he opposed presence of political party leaders in peace talks as he believed because they joined the talks not for the interests of people, but for the interests of their own.
“Many members of the government’s negotiating team do not meet the condition for negotiations. They came to talks because of their membership with political parties or influenced by other leaders to join, that is the reason they cannot reason with the Taliban,” he added.
The absence of neutral figures and appointment a team who is involved in war with the Taliban destroys peace talks and Taliban would lose interest in creating a safe environment in the country, he added.
US unwillingness in their decisions to suppress the Taliban led to their reemergence in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the Taliban’s condition for releasing their 5,000 prisoners by the government should not be repeated as the group did not follow reduction in violence and ceasefire condition asked by the government.
He said it would be better if the youth of Afghanistan had more say in the peace process. “Our youths are responsible for the future of the country, it would be better if they are given more roles so they would get experience in crisis management and advancing the peace process,” he said.
Faraz said that no country was optimistic about peace in Afghanistan and foreigners would also leave the country at crisis.
“Daily bloodshed and internal disputes, involvement of neighboring countries in the Afghan crisis, tears of widows, cries of orphans and the blood of martyrs would be waiting for the suffered and blood-stained society,” he added.
He said that peace between the government and the Taliban was possible only if the two sides give up their conditions.
Faraz said that ensuring security in the country, ceasefire and protection of past gains should be set as standards for peace negotiations. The past gains include freedom of speech, an active government, women’s rights, diplomatic relations, valuing people’s voice, democracy, development and education, he said.
Demands of Faraz:
Faraz said that a peaceful environment in Afghanistan for open movements and visiting the country’s natural sites without fears are his dreams and that was the reason he took pen for expressing what he has in mind about his optimism for the country.
“People are at risk without peace, no one can provide a logical reason for insecurity, logic is in talks and talks should be made with the pen, not with weapons, peace cannot come with slogans but with action among people…,” he added.
Faraz previously worked as director for various media outlets and educational centers and currently is leading “Thoughts of youth” organization.