Afghan newspapers voice hope for peace amid US-Taleban talks

KABUL (Xinhua) – Newspapers in Afghanistan yesterday expressed hope for lasting peace and stability in the war-battered country amid ongoing talks between the United States (US) and the Taleban.

A US delegation headed by veteran diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taleban representatives four times since November 2018 and the fifth round of dialogue between the two sides is slated for February 25, according to media reports.

Media reports have also suggested that the US has agreed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and the Taleban outfit would announce a ceasefire if the former declares timetable for the troops’ pullout.

After meeting Khalilzad on Sunday, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a sharp reaction on Monday said that peace talks should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” to yield desired result.

“The people of Afghanistan once experienced the Taleban rule and don’t like to see its repetition,” the newspaper Daily Afghanistan-e-Ma wrote in its editorial yesterday.

Describing the Taleban group as a “terrorist and murderer of Afghans”, the paper added that the Taleban just one week ago targetted a military centre in the eastern Wardak province, killing scores of security personnel and “killer should be held accountable” elsewhere in the world.

Another paper Etilaat-e-Roze in its editorial, supported the ongoing peace process and wrote, “The end of war and returning lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan is better than personnel interests” and it is the responsibility of President Ghani and all those engaged in Afghan affairs to realise the fact and jointly work to end the war in the country.

“The foreign forces have killed many Afghans since taking office by President Ghani four and half years ago and the forces even dropped a 11,000kg bomb known as mother bomb in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province in 2017, but the President didn’t condemn it, so the people have fed up with the ongoing war and killing,” another paper the Daily Weesa said in its editorial.

The paper also said, “Having peace and living in peace is better than anything” in the world.