Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The Violation of Humanitarian Law

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The Violation of Humanitarian Law

Annually, thousands of Peace Day events take place around the globe, many programs are held to promote peace, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates make speech to show the world their work has not been finished, however, peace still remains elusive and warring factions continue spilling the blood of innocent individuals and violate their rights and liberty flagrantly.
Afghanistan is one of the war torn countries which bears the brunt of militancy and democracy is undermined by terrorism. The strong-willed Afghan administration left no stone unturned to bring the Taliban to the bargaining table and called all warring parties to join peace process. The constant peace offerings by Afghan government have been refused and the Taliban guerillas, along with the affiliates to the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), play their destructive role in the country via shedding the blood of men, women and children for ideological reasons or on the basis of one’s race and religion.
It is most likely that the current year (2017) will be more deadly than the two last years in which a large number of Afghan soldiers and civilians lost their lives in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. No wonder, only fourteen days have elapsed in the New Year, more 100 people have been killed and wounded by terrorist attacks. For instance, more than 10 individuals, from ethnic minority group, have been gunned down on Friday by the affiliated to ISIL in Baghlan. Similarly, 30 people were killed and at least 80 more were wounded in twin suicide bombings on Tuesday in Kabul for which the Taliban claimed responsibility. Meanwhile, some others also lost their lives, including five Arab diplomats, and were injured in terrorist attacks in Helmand and Kandahar on the same day. The lack of acceptance and religious tolerance are believed to be the main reasons for the escalated militancy. Warring factions shed the blood of people voraciously due to their warped minds and aggressive ideology. They claim racial and religious superiority and believe that killing would be the only choice – this mentality necessarily belongs to the ideologues. On the other hand, the mercenary fighters practice upon no ideology and play with the life of individuals for the hack of it. In other words, there are some natural evils as violence runs in their blood. Such ilk of fighters seeks to violate the rights of mankind and harm people in one way or another.
Afghan administration played its role positively through establishing the Peace High Council (HPC) to bring the Taliban to the peace table so as to strengthen democracy and protect the rights and liberty of the citizens. In addition, the constitution of the country was approved on the basis of Islamic tenets and moral standards and the Taliban elements are urged to stop bloodshed and practice upon this constitution. Now, the ball is in the Taliban’s court whether to join the reconciliation process or continue targeting Afghan nation. With the appointment of Mansour’s successor, political pundits made a ballpark estimate that Haibatullah Akhundzada would be more radical than his predecessor and a greater obstacle before peace talks for being known as a radical clergy.
President Ghani’s administration still reveals strong will for peace talks and the door for negotiation is open for all warring parties. Recently, before Obama’s last speech, his administration wanted Indo-Pak dialogue to include Afghanistan. “We do think that any regional dialogue between India, Pakistan for including Afghanistan and others to counter terrorism would be desirable,” Peter Lavoy, senior director for South Asian affairs, is cited as saying. “Terrorism is a threat to all of us and no country will be safe, unless terrorism is irradiated in every other country, especially in the neighborhood.” According to him, even though the Pakistani government and security apparatus were trying to diminish terrorist strength in Pakistan, Islamabad had prioritized its fight against the outfits that target the country first and had placed less priority on the terrorists targeting its neighbors.
For tireless efforts within a decade for peace and stability in the country, Afghanistan will have to be involved in all talks regarding the peace issues in its soil. Similarly, the US troops paid sacrifices along with Afghan soldiers and invested billions of dollars on “war on terror”, no countries are to hold talks with the Taliban elements without the presence of Afghanistan and the US or else the talks will remain as futile as ever. In a nutshell, there is a need for unanimous agreement for holding talks, the Taliban also should reveal a bona fide intention otherwise it will never bear the desired result.
If the Taliban do not hold talks, the international community must put pressure on them so as to consider the humanitarian law and stop killing the civilians, mainly the women and children. In another item, murdering civilians is allowed neither in religion nor in international law or moral standards. Therefore, warring factions will have to stop targeting non-combatants, who have nothing to do with war.
It is publicly believed that men are born with fundamental rights, i.e. the rights to life, liberty and property and no parties are to violate these rights. Hence, since the militant fighters are concerned with no law and trample upon the public rights without hesitation, the world will have to pressurize them to stop such inhuman practices – it is possible through launching a strong global campaign against terrorism.

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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