As the recent agreement between the United States and the Taliban, which does not bring peace and the uninterrupted spread of coronavirus, is being realized, Afghanistan is facing two new and old infections – COVID-19 and relentless violence. In 2018, a growing pacifist movement emerged in Afghanistan, particularly after a peace march that the Afghan media described as a “Helmand peace convoy.”   The peace march was a reaction to a car bomb on 23 March in Lashkar Gah, which killed 14 people. Protesters travelled several hundred kilometres from Lashkar Gah in Helmand province through the Taliban-held area to Kabul. It was there that they met Ghani and held sit-in-protests in front of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and near embassies.  Their efforts have inspired other movements in other parts of Afghanistan.  After months of negotiations, the Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin, the second militant group in the country after the Taliban, signed a peace agreement with the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. It was the first peace treaty since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Government officials hailed the agreement as a step towards peace and perhaps also as an agreement with the Taliban.  However, others have expressed concern about alleged war crimes committed by controversial leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The agreement included the United States to move it from a list of “global terrorists” to the white list.
Parts of Afghan society have protested the peace treaty because of its previous actions.  On 27 February 2018, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proposed unconditional peace talks with the Taliban, after an upsurge in violence, which offered them recognition as a legal political party and the release of Taliban prisoners. The offer was the most advantageous for the Taliban since the beginning of the war. It was preceded by several months of national consensus, which revealed that Afghans overwhelmingly supported the end of the war.   Two days earlier, the Taliban had called for talks with the United States and said, “America and its allies must now see that the issue of Afghanistan cannot be resolved militarily. America must now focus on a peaceful strategy for Afghanistan rather than war.  On March 27, 2018, a 20-country conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, supported the Afghan government`s offer of peace to the Taliban.  However, the Taliban did not respond publicly to Ghani`s offer. [Citation required] Ideological differences have created problems, especially with regard to human rights.