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People of Afghanistan praying for everlasting peace: Afghan students in Jammu

Jammu: Away from their country which is now under the control of the Taliban, a group of Afghans pursuing higher education in Jammu and Kashmir said on Tuesday that the people of Afghanistan are praying for everlasting peace and development.
They expressed their desire for continuation of good relations with India and support of the international community in rebuilding the war-torn nation.
Rohullah Fazili and several other students from Afghanistan are pursuing Ph.D in Agronomy at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST-Jammu) for nearly two years.

“I talked to my parents back home in Kabul (following the Taliban takeover) and came to know that it is normal at the moment and there was no report of violence,” Fazili told PTI over phone from his campus.

He said the people of Afghanistan are praying for everlasting peace and development.

“I am living here with my wife and children after I was cleared by the previous government for the three-year Ph.D. I have still one year to complete my course,” Fazili, an employee in the Agriculture Ministry in Afghanistan, said, hoping to complete his studies before returning to his country.

Though he avoided direct answers to queries related to the Taliban takeover of the country, Fazili expressed hope that the good relations between India and Afghanistan would continue for the benefit of the people of his country.

Rahmat Gul, another Ph.D student in Agronomy, said they have many hopes from India.

“Afghanistan needs support on its path to peace, prosperity and development. Many countries like India have come forward for its rebuilding and reconstruction in the past. India is a friendly country and has been in the forefront of capacity building of our people and therefore we want the good relations with it to continue and grow stronger in future, he said.

Gul said, “They are hopeful that the dust of the war will settle down and Afghanistan will turn into an abode of peace with the grace of Allah.”

Atal Hameed, a resident of Nangarhar province in eastern part of Afghanistan who is doing his doctorate in Vegetable science, said his family had informed him that “everything is normal there”.

“I came to know from my family that everything is normal there. Schools and offices are open and even girls are attending their classes, he claimed.

He said India has made a huge investment in the progress of Afghanistan and the good relations between the two countries are in the interest of the people of Afghanistan.

“We want peaceful, stable and internationally recognised Afghanistan. We want developmental activities to continue and my personal opinion is that an elected government should be at the helm of affairs,” Hameed said.

Meanwhile, dry fruit merchants in Jammu said the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan has led to a spike in prices of the products.

“Almond kernels have recorded a steep rise of Rs 400 to Rs 600 per kg, while the rates for other items such as pistachios, apricots, cashew, raisin and fig have also marked an increase over the past fortnight,” Raman Gupta, a dry fruit dealer outside the famous Raghunath temple, said.

He said Afghanistan serves as the hub of quality dry fruits and “we are hopeful that the prices will come down once the situation eases there.”


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