Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

The Past Glories are at Stake

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The Past Glories are at Stake

Afghan nation paid large sacrifice to embrace freedom and protect religious principles and moral values. The historical wars against the invasion of Soviet Union and Britain show that Afghans sought to free themselves from the shackles of tyranny. Although the deadly wars, which were imposed on them, inflicted heavy casualties upon the nation, they could not undermine their determination in protecting the national and religious values.
The historical wars were gross violation of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and led to horrible consequences. For example, the number of casualties left behind as a result of heavy bombardments and shelling was extremely high. The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) was disregarded and people were targeted indiscriminately. Meanwhile, infrastructures were also ruined seriously.
The scale of hatred against invasion also provoked women to play their role in the wars. For instance, Malali of Maiwand earned nationwide fame for her bravery and sacrifice. The 18-year-old Afghan national heroine Malalai – who rallied local people fighters against the British troops at the 1880 Battle of Maiwand – will be kept alive in the heart of our history for her heroic act and considered as a role model. She was a native of Khig, a tiny village on the edge of the Maiwand battlefield, and the daughter of a shepherd. Like many women, Malalai was there to help the wounded and provide water and spare weapons. Eventually there came a point in the battle where the Afghan army was losing morale in Battle of Maiwand. Malalai, also known as “The Afghan Molly Pitcher”, took the Afghan flag and addressed them by an epic poem as, “Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of Maiwand, by God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame.” This gave many of the Afghan fighters and ghazis a new resolve and they redoubled their efforts. At that moment one of the leading flag-bearers fell from a British bullet, Malalai went forward and held up the flag singing heroic song as, “With a drop of my sweetheart’s blood, shed in defense of the motherland, will I put a beauty spot on my forehead, such as would put to shame the rose in the garden.” But then Malalai herself was struck down and killed in cold blood. However, her words had spurred on her countrymen and soon the British lines gave way, broke and turned, leading to a disastrous retreat back to Kandahar and the biggest defeat for the British army in the Second Afghan War. Afterwards, Ayub Khan, the king who led the Battle of Maiwand, gave a special honor to Malalai and she was buried in her village, where her grave can still be found. Indeed, her action was enough to turn her into a national heroine and she is still revered today. Schools, hospitals and even a women’s magazine have been named after her.
However, the past glories were outweighed by civil conflicts which rooted in ethnic differences and ambitious objectives. The civil conflicts which broke out between those who fought in holy wars, did not only put the sanctity of jihad under question but also increased the number of casualties and sowed the seeds of discord across the country.
Besides challenging the past glories, the civil conflicts gave a chance to mysterious hands to plot against the country and exploit public emotion behind the veil. The current militancy appears to be the consequence of the civil conflicts, which widened the gap within ethnic, political, and factional groups. For example, the Taliban network was established and sent to Afghanistan, which was bleeding in the wake of civil unrest. On the other hand, Afghans were weary of violence and bloodshed, in turn, sought a solace in the presence of the Taliban, who entered the country with the message of peace and brotherhood and were disguised in the mask of religion. In short, I do remember when the eyes of people gleamed with hope with the news of the Taliban’s presence in the country believing that they would establish Islamic values in the country. But the seamy face of the Taliban appeared with their cruel practices and Afghans were put in another quagmire of violence – which was out of the frying pan into the fire.
To protect the historical glories and national honor, Afghan must promote the spirit of brotherhood and stand as an iron fist against the militant fighters. Moreover, the officials need to fight corruption within the government’s machinery and focus all their energy on protecting national interests and social values.

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

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