ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - Fr. Scalese: "Peace in the future of Afghanistan, without turning back"

Thursday, 28 March 2019 human rights   peace   talibans   religious minorities   catholic church  

Kabul (Agenzia Fides) - "The contribution that the small Catholic community can give to building peace in Afghanistan is limited. But we have a secret weapon, which can reach unimaginable results: prayer. This is what we promise our Afghan friends. As a sign of our friendship and our hope of peace, on April 14, Palm Sunday, we will plant an olive tree which comes from Holy Land in the square in front of the church. Italian ambassador, Roberto Cantone and deputy commander of the mission, General Salvatore Camporeale, will transplant it from the vase to the earth. We will call it the olive tree of Peace". This is what was stated in a message sent to Agenzia Fides by Father Giovanni Scalese, a Barnabite priest responsible for the Missio sui iuris in Afghanistan, following the celebration of the Afghan New Year (Nowruz, a traditional feast celebrated in various Middle Eastern and Asian countries), marred by the explosion of three bombs located in the Shiite sanctuary area of Karti Sakhi in Kabul.
Reiterating the hope "of the beginning of a journey towards a better future for Afghanistan", Scalese notes: "This desire remains and is alive. Of course, there is still no peace in Afghanistan; but, at least, a process of change has begun, with good prospects for success. This does not mean that everything will be easy. In fact, there are many concerns about the future. Obviously, when negotiations are started - he points out referring to talks in Dubai between the Taliban and the United State - every party must recognize the reasons of the other parties and renounce some of their own convictions".
The Superior continues: "The Taliban have already said that they do not accept the current Constitution, imposed from outside, and that they would like an Islamic Constitution. However, we do not believe they can expect a return to the situation prior to 2001, as if these 18 years did not exist. Are many young Afghans willing to go back and give up what has been obtained so far? Of course, nothing in this world is irreversible; but it seems difficult that the results obtained, such as for example the rights acquired by women, can be put into question again", concludes the Barnabite. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 28/3/2019)