UAE Press: Give peace a chance in Afghanistan

ABU DHABI, At a time when they should be attending schools or playing in parks, a generation of Afghan children has only been witnessing dreadful violence, day in and day out, an editorial in a local English language daily has said.

The editorial, in today’s edition of The Gulf Today, noted, “Families have been ripped apart for no mistake of theirs. Afghan people yearn for peace and that’s precisely what the world community needs to help them achieve.”

The editorial comment continued, “Seventeen years after the US-led invasion that ended Taliban rule, the militants control nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily attacks on local security forces and government officials.”

The paper quoted the US special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, as saying that he hopes to cement a peace deal with Taliban insurgents by April 2019 when Afghanistan plans to hold a presidential election, and his assertion does sound positive and promising.

“While the Trump administration and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government are making efforts to reach a settlement with the Taliban, the insurgents have continued their attacks on government forces, inflicting hundreds of casualties over recent weeks in assaults across the country,” added the paper, noting that the conflict continues to exact a terrible toll on civilians, with the highest number of fatalities recorded for the first nine months of this year, since 2014.

According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 8,050 civilians died or were wounded between January and September, with use of suicide bombings and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by anti-government elements, accounting for almost half the casualties.

The rest of the world too has a responsibility to help Afghanistan regain peace. Peace-loving UAE has been doing its best on this front and deserves special praise.

The UAE this week hosted the “7th Regional Technical Group Meeting of Counter-terrorism Confidence Building Measures for Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process” in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE has provided development assistance through many projects, including the “Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed City Housing Complex in Qasba”, Kabul, in April, which aims to build more than 3,300 residential units at a cost of Dhs708 million, and is part of the UAE government’s grant to Afghanistan worth Dhs991 million. The total value of foreign aid provided to Afghanistan amounted to around AED414 million in recent years.

The meeting confirms the UAE’s keenness to combat terrorism and support stability, security and peace in Afghanistan, as well as its continuing efforts to support the Afghan people.

“All sides involved in the conflict should work honesty towards reconciliation and see to it that peace returns to the troubled nation,” concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Source: Emirates News Agency