Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, August 21st, 2017

No Light at the End of the Tunnel

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No Light at the End of the Tunnel

A strong sense of fear and disappointment has filled the air in Afghanistan. The death toll is mounting as a result of escalated insurgency and spate of suicide attacks. People are affected mentally or physically. The militant fighters ushered in stoking sectarian violence, which was not common in Afghanistan, through targeting minority groups on the grounds of their creed. Too many tears are flown and too much blood is shed as terrorists pursue their sinister aims at the cost of countless of civilians’ life.
The insurgents have intensified their spring attacks without showing an iota of mercy to non-combatants, mainly women and children. It is an undeniable fact that children have nothing to do with war or religious faith. But they are killed in cold blood perhaps on the basis of their race or caste. Life has no value for terrorist groups. In other words, the radical ideology of militant fighters feeds on violence and blood. Humanity and ethical code have no room in their vision of the world. Attacking on mourning proceedings and funeral ceremony will make one’s senses go numb with fear and chagrin.  
The democratic discourse, hotly debated in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime, could not put an end to the bleeding wound of Afghan nation. For instance, the Constitution was approved on the basis of true democracy and the rights and liberty of all citizens were deemed inviolable regardless of their caste, color and creed. The state was committed to respecting and protecting people’s fundamental rights. Similarly, provincial and presidential elections were held for further practice of democracy and people sent their representatives to parliament to raise their voice against injustice and violation of their rights. But political instability and insurgency remained slowed down democracy.
The US former President Barack Obama has aptly stated in his popular speech in Cairo, Egypt, titled “A New Beginning” as, “you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy”.
Only approving a democratic constitution or conducting elections without a strong sanction behind will not ensure democracy. For example, Afghans have both a Constitution approved on the basis of democracy and provincial and presidential elections, however their rights are trampled under the boots of militant fighters and their freedoms are curtailed. So, can we call such a country democratic?
The recent series of bloodbath has not only shattered the public hope but also filled them with a strong sense of disappointment and confusion. People are not able to exercise their rights freely. They are not able to hold the funeral of the victims, their mourning ceremony, religious rituals, etc. Mothers are worried about their children when they go to school, children are anxious about their fathers for returning safely from work, and women about their husbands. Everyone tries to survive a suicide attack. In brief, the life has turned to a hell for Afghan nation.
It is self-explanatory that the militant fighters spill the blood of mankind out of radical ideology. There are three main approaches towards religion. First, a group of people have misconstrued religious tenets and practice their self-styled rule and ideology. The fundamental groups – which are manifested in the frame of violence and bloodshed, such as the Taliban, self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Haqqani-network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. – are the products of radical approach towards religion. Second, a number of people fear and escape religion mostly due to the violent practices of the first group. In another item, terrorism has not only spread Islamophobia in western countries but also triggered hatred and panic in many Islamic countries, since Muslims bear the brunt of terrorism and insurgency. The third group practices upon religious tenets with deeper knowledge, tolerance and no inclination towards violence.
The first group is highly threatening for the society for killing people and destabilizing the region and the world. It is believed that modifying their mindset on the basis of true knowledge of religion will be next to impossible. Radicalism has been deeply embedded in their ideology and mindset leaving them unable to broaden their horizons. Perhaps, the only way to stop them from bloodshed is shooting them on the head. In brief, implementing the policy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” will suit this group which pursues murder relentlessly. Otherwise, the cycle of violence and bloodshed will not stop and people will be mired in fear and hopelessness.

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

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