Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Emotional Approach to Tragic Scenes is Self-destructive

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Emotional Approach to Tragic Scenes is Self-destructive

The level of public fear and mistrust has increased with the Sunday’s suicide attack in Kabul which killed and wounded dozens of civilians, including women and children. The tragic incident sparked off strong sentiment as bloody pictures were posted in social media with harsh comments. However, mixed reaction was shown towards participation in the upcoming election.
A large number of people have commented that they will not leave the ground for terrorists and militancy will not be a deterrent to their participation. According to popular sentiment, terrorist fighters seek to hamper people’s participation in provincial and district council elections through waging attacks but they will not be coerced. Streams of Afghans blood were shed and their fingers were cut off for their participation in past elections; nonetheless, they continued to uphold democracy through flocking to ballot boxes with a gleam of hope for a peaceful and prosperous future. The public realize that embracing democracy will not be possible without sacrifices. Hence, if they succumb to the threat, militants will be the winner.
However, the horrible consequence of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings is undeniable. A number of people are of the opinion that their ballots will make no changebut only risk their lives. The death of women and children on Sunday’s attack will demoralize the public in general and women in particular. They do not tend to risk their lives in return for nothing, based on their perception.
The sentiment against officials in media, mainly social media, was easily noticeable. It was said that if government is not able to ensure their safety, there will be no reason to register for voting. In other words, a large number of people are likely to have lost their confidence in the government. The graph of civilian casualties remain as high as the two past years, which were considered the deadliest years for the country. Due to the high mortality rate, the wall of mistrust between state and nation has grown taller.
The Sunday’s attack came as Afghan officials assured people of their safety and said that the security forces had tightened the security and they could register for voting without fear. However, the attack suggested otherwise and widened the gap between state and nation.
On the other hand, the mouth-watering promises of candidates before elections and their practices after elections have been changed into a political satire in the social media. Mostly, the candidates promise beyond their abilities and un-fulfillment of such promises will make people lose their trust in them. This issue also put people in limbo whom to vote and why to vote.
It is self-explanatory that the militant fighters, especially the Taliban, seek to bar people from participating in the elections. For instance, there had been five attacks in less than a week against the election process. The series of recent attacks – including the Tuesday’s attack on voter registration center in Ghor province and the abduction of three employees of Election Commission and two policemen – suggest not only the Taliban’s power but also their intention to disrupt the election process. Although the abductees were released after the mediation of local elders, there is still a sense of fear in the air.
The Taliban turned down President Ghani’s call for participating in the forthcoming election as a political party and dubbed it “fake and exhibitory”. Holding out against Kabul’s peace offer, the Taliban continue their attacks against combatants and non-combatants. They have constantly stood against democracy and freedoms, which have no room in their radical mindset.
Although the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has claimed the responsibility for Sunday’s attack on civilians, a number of political pundits deny the presence of ISIL group in Afghanistan saying that the Taliban’s splinter group has changed its white flag into black one and operates under the term of ISIL. In fact, all terrorist groups are against democratic process and seek to target the electorate and polling stations.
Constitutionally, the government is responsible to safeguard people’s life and struggle for forming a peaceful and civil society. To protect the rights and liberties of nation, the National Unity Government (NUG) will have to reinforce intelligence and reconnaissance and change the traditional mechanism for combating terrorism.
Meanwhile, spreading hatred and posting appalling pictures of the victims in social media should be stopped for two adverse effects they will put on the public: First, the viewers will be traumatized and more disappointed. Second, it will widen the gap between state and nation. Thus, capitalizing on public emotion in social media is self-destructive and will only breed further mistrust.

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