Hundreds of people at a gathering in southern Kandahar province blamed the government for monopolizing the peace process, and said that the forthcoming peace talks should include common people as representatives, not just politicians and other members of the elite.
Along with Kandaharis, people came from Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul, Farah and Herat to say that "some groups" in the past have failed to make peace.
Sayedajan Khakrezwal, the Kandahar provincial council head, called on "all Afghans to accept peace instead of war."
“We want peace. And we want the government, Taliban and other opposition groups to put the interests of peace before their own interests,” said Khakrezwal.
Najibullah, another participant, said “Afghans kill Afghans--Afghan killing is enough and let`s end the war.”
Another participant, Nasir Ahmad Azad, said “Everyone here says in one voice that only peace can solve the problems of the people.”
The participants of the gathering urged the government to not hinder the political figures who want to bring peace in the county.
“There are some groups, who create fear in people's minds who have no idea what peace is,” said Masood Azizi, former deputy interior minister.
The event took place as efforts have been accelerated to start peace talks between the Taliban and the US.