Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Targeting Civilians Unjustifiable

Afghans suffered severely in the wake of political upheavals throughout the history and paid heavy sacrifices for democratic principles. Political symptoms and civil unrest took their toll on people’s life, freedoms, and dignity.
The pain and anguish of Afghan people within the last four decades of conflict and civil unrest is indescribable. The natural and inherent rights and freedoms of individuals were violated flagrantly. Although relative freedoms and moderate approaches of kings and political leaders generated a gleam of hope for Afghans for a peaceful and prosperous life, the pain continues unabated as peace remains elusive.
Religious fundamentalists are still acting as pawns in the political game being launched by mysterious hands and playing self-destructive role. They are a strong drawback before progressive and democratic acts as well as country’s development.
Gaining relative freedoms in the post-Taliban Afghanistan, Afghans hoped to live a peaceful life and be able to exercise their rights and freedoms under a nascent democratic administration, but the Taliban guerilla fighters were reorganized and resumed their violent and destructive acts. Now the public air is still filled with fear since the Taliban and other militant groups continue spilling the blood of Afghan combatants and non-combatants, including women and children.
Militant fighters, mainly the Taliban, carry out indiscriminate attacks against Afghan nation. That is, the sacrifices made by Afghans for a peaceful community has not yet borne the desired result. Religious fundamentalists still find democratic principles against their radical ideology and, ironically, shed the blood of people to sell their harsh mindset and trade on religious issues.
It is said that the Taliban and the US representatives will reach an agreement after they held several rounds of talks and the Taliban leadership will start negotiation with the Afghan government, militancy continues unabated. Afghan civilians have been changed into sacrificial lamb in the conflict ongoing between the Taliban and the government. There is much optimism for finding negotiated settlement in the near future, but still no sign of peace is felt in collective life.
Although the self-proclaimed IS group has claimed responsibility for this week suicide attack in a wedding ceremony in Kabul, which killed 63 people and wounded 182, Taliban’s engagement in the incident is also reported. A source is cited as saying that the type of explosive shows that the Taliban, in line with Haqqani network, carried out the attack. Condemning the attack, President Ashraf Ghani said that despite the Taliban’s denials of responsibility, they still shared some of the blame because they “provide a platform for terrorists”. Ghani called it the greatest and the most tragic crime against humanity and urged the international community not to keep silent in this regard.
The Taliban have targeted civilians on several occasions and killed a large number of Afghan women and children without an iota of mercy simply to put pressure on the Afghan government or haggle for higher price at the peace table.
In the wake of this week’s attack, Afghan citizens made sentimental remarks against Afghan security officials and called them insufficient. As Afghan officials mark the 100th anniversary of Afghan Independence Day, the social media are inundated with the bloody images of victims of the attack and sentimental and angry remarks are aired against both officials and organizers of the attacks.
As a result of the militants’ indiscriminate attacks, life has turned so cheap in Afghanistan and bloodshed is desensitized in the country.
It should be noted that the government could not safeguard the rights and freedoms of the citizens and Afghan officials have been competing for power. The gap between Afghan officials widened in the last five years. Simultaneously, mistrust between state and nation also mushroomed since instability increased and the Taliban extended their control on Afghan soil. Currently, the Taliban hold a checkpoint on Kabul-Kandahar highway in Moqor district, where they collect money from truck drivers. Moreover, the government is unlikely to be able to ensure the security of polling stations and voters’ safety. Thus, all citizens do not have the opportunity to cast their votes.
Targeting civilians is a war crime and has no rational or religious justification. Such acts simply unfold the brutality and irrationality of the militant fighters. It further indicates that those militant groups, which claim to fight for religion, lack the very basic knowledge of religion. The surge in militancy shows the Taliban are still playing a foul game as they, on the one hand, negotiate for peace and, on the other hand, intensify their attacks.