Since decades, Afghans and Pakistanis both have been suffering endlessly at the cost of their lives in an endless war and every year, they hope of a new dawn of peace and love. On the occasion of Nowruz, Afghan Deputy Ambassador Zardasht Shams spoke to a huge gathering at the Afghan Consulate on Wednesday in Peshawar. The event was arranged by Afghan Consul General Moeen Marastial. Zardasht Shams conveyed to Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal the message of peace and prosperity in the coming days for the new generation. He stated that the offer of peace and dialogue to Taliban by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is evergreen and this was the lone way of living as humans in this world. He informed the gathering about the ongoing positive initiatives taken by both the neighbouring countries. “Dialogue has resumed and both the nations would listen and hear of great news soon,” he said. In Central Asian states including Iran, Nowruz is celebrated since thousands of years. Moeen Marastial shed light on the history of Iran’s New Year festival. In olden times, Pashtun young girls would go outside to the green fields on this very occasion when the region was more pluralistic and acceptable. “The previous year was not peaceful as per our expectations, Marastial said. But along with all difficulties we got great achievements in the field of cricket, boxing and football.” Shams recalled a few bigger governmental achievements in previous years. “The Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran gas pipeline is the most important developmental project. The whole region will benefit from this big project. Beside this, energy power, dams, roads and educational institutions were erected in parts of Afghanistan,” he concluded. The programme was attended by prominent members of the academia, students, traders and activists. Pakistani Afghan woman Deewa Bajuri especially came from Australia only to celebrate Nowruz in her home country. “This day comes only once in a year and our family trip evolves around this day,” she told. Deewa Bajauri was born in Peshawar but her family is Afghan. She later migrated to Australia. “For me, Peshawar and Kabul are the same and the love for both the cities never minimises,” Bajauri elaborated. Former Member of the National Assembly Jamila Gilani also spoke on the occasion. She said that the Pashtuns have to stand firm against the outside culture. At the end of the programme, the students performed on national songs. Published in Daily Times, March 23rd 2018.