ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - Barnabite Fathers : Concrete Peace Building

Thursday, 5 April 2018 human rights   peace   religious freedom   education   politics   justice   civil society   school   social works   democracy   talibans   islam  

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Kabul (Agenzia Fides) - “Positive signs from Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2018 cannot say that the war is nearly over, but they do give signs of hope. We must see them with trustful eyes and above all with hearts that pray because the maker of peace is one, God alone”. Fides was told this by Barnabite Father Giuseppe Moretti, missionary in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 1990 to 2015, referring to recent events in the Asian nation in conflict for almost forty years.
On March 27 in Tashkent, there was the final step of the peace process begun at the start of this year 2018. The capital Uzbekistan hosted in fact the high level International Conference on Afghanistan, on the theme ‘Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction’, organised at the request of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: “The level of attention for Afghanistan has been high since the beginning of 2018. On January 8 addressing in the Vatican the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See Pope Francis numbered Afghanistan among the nations most in need of peace. In February in Kabul there was a high level meeting of regional Defence ministers, present also the United States and NATO. In the same month the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, affirmed that peace cannot be reached without an agreement with the Taleban”, the Barnabite Father recalled.
Positive signals come also from the United Nations Organisation: “In his most recent report, the UN special envoy in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, urged the Taleban to respond to the offer of dialogue proposed by the Afghan government and give up the idea of dealing with the United States instead of the authorities in Kabul. Sad to say this proposal was ignored, as we can see from the continual operations of guerrilla warfare”, Fr. Moretti explains referring to constant attacks since January’ the last of which happened on 21 March in a Sciite holy place in west Kabul, leaving 26 dead and 18 wounded.
“Let us hope that words will be followed by facts even if this will demand time, determination and courage. On the other hand, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani opening towards the Taleban movement laid down clear conditions: any decision must guarantee constitutional rights and duties of all citizens, protecting those of women in particular”, says the Barnabite Father.
In Uzbekistan, representatives of 24 countries present at the Conference signed the “Tashkent Declaration”, committing themselves to promoting concrete initiatives including the realisation of great projects in Afghanistan: “I am ever more convinced that if we want peace we must build it. This is achieved by building schools, hospitals, homes, roads, creating jobs. In other words with everything which is at the base of a democracy, so that instead of the noise of weapons the people hear the noise of bulldozers and cranes working on new infrastructures”, says Father Giuseppe Moretti. In his 25 years of mission in Kabul, the Italian Barnabite opened the Tangi Kalai School of Peace, an institute which aims to teach children the concepts of peace and brotherhood. Today the school has 3000 pupils who are taught in keeping with government programmes by teachers selected by the government. (LF) (Agenzia Fides 5/4/2018)

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