|Daykundi province reaches out for unity across Afghanistan|
Story by Capt. Lawrence Carmack
NILI, Afghanistan — Members of the High Peace Council from Kabul traveled to Nili to meet with Daykundi’s Provincial Peace Council and local leaders, and formally integrate them into the national peace planning.
A committee of nine government officials flew in from Kabul, including members of parliament, the National Department of Security, and the National Directorate of Security, to meet with Governor Qurban Ali Oruzgani and other local leaders, to send a message of peace to the rest of the country.
The Afghanistan High Peace Council, a body appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, assists the government and the Afghan people in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
For a province that is already a model of security, this process further develops the Daykundi provincial plan to help bring peace throughout Afghanistan.
“The peace process brings together the insurgents and the people and gets rid of the fighting,” said Muhammad Ishaq, Daykundi provincial peace council member. “We are confident and trust that the governor will make things happen.”
The province, which began its transition this past December, maintains its own security through the Afghan police and military. Daykundi’s peace council is hopeful that this meeting will pass on its message of security, reintegration and peace.
“We need this message to get out on a national and international level,” said Ishaq.
While being an example for peace and security, the province also takes pride in its proactive stance regarding human and women’s rights.
“I am proud of the people of Daykundi,” said Azra Jafari, mayor of Nili, and first female mayor appointed by President Karzai in 2008. “We have women and human rights here, and we must help the Daykundi people. I welcome the peace process, and we have to make sure that we do not destroy the gains made in women’s rights.”
The success of Daykundi comes in part from the people taking responsibility for their problems and making gains through communication versus fighting.
“People should come together, create a group to talk about problems, and create a resolution,” said Jafari.
While creating peace through resolution, provincial leaders also maintain a high level of transparency and communicate to the local population what they are doing to make this happen. This year’s Almond Festival allowed the peace council to reach out to over four-thousand community members and communicate their hard work for peace.
“The Almond Festival has occurred for many years,” said Muhammad Akbary, a member of Kabul’s parliament. “What is different about this year is that we used it to communicate the efforts of the government.”
Governor Oruzgani said the province has made great progress in staying ahead of the national average in security and peace but knows that they will have challenges to overcome as they move forward.
Oruzgani feels that since the establishment of the province nearly a decade ago, the province has extended its security having the best of all provinces and has increased education surpassing even Kabul in the number of those passing university entrance exams.
“This is important for Daykundi as the young people have to be kept busy in order for them to stay away from bad habits,” said Oruzgani.
A common theme heard through most of those speaking was unity, unity of the nation and unity of the people. The people of Daykundi are hopeful that through their actions of peace and unity, the nation will follow suit.