Let Syrian guns be silent forever

SATURDAY saw the civil war bitten Syrian people waking up in rare serene surroundings with no sounds of shelling and gunfire. The nationwide cessation of hostilities brokered by Washington and Russia is being seen as a crucial step towards ending a five-year civil war that has claimed over 270,000 lives and displaced more than half the population.
Given the crippling effect of civil war, which has almost destroyed Syria, we wish the current truce prevails and the warring parties reach some sort of negotiated settlement for return of permanent peace in the country. The staggering figure of casualties and those who were forced to flee their homes had committed no fault to meet this painful and heartbreaking fate. Videos appearing on the international media showing bombed out houses, rows of crumbling buildings and deserted streets also reveal shocking legacy of the Syrian war. With families there facing worst humanitarian crisis and struggling to survive or make a new home in countries, it appears that Syria would take many decades to stand up on its feet again as has also been pointed out by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that the country has lost four decades of human development. As the country has already faced much death, destruction, we hope that sanity would prevail amongst different stakeholders and all would undertake genuine efforts to revive sustainable peace there. Firstly, in our view the concerned quarters should reach out to the people trapped in besieged areas to provide them with necessary food and other humanitarian assistance. World community should be more forthcoming and announce sufficient humanitarian funding for these ill-fated people. Secondly, the special task force chaired by Moscow and Washington should ensure that the truce holds on with no violations from any warring parties including Syrian government and rebel forces. Thirdly, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon should immediately launch shuttle diplomacy and visit the concerned capitals including Washington, Moscow and Riyadh to ensure that the truce holds forever.

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