Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Waves of Criticisms against Silence of Urazgan Tragedy

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Waves of Criticisms against Silence of Urazgan Tragedy

Khas Uruzgan is one of the most vulnerable places where Hazara people are repeatedly suffering from imposed violence on them. The last catastrophe, which inflicted irreparable damages on the life of already deprived people, has raised waves of criticisms and hatreds among the people. The circulation of death body’s pictures and burnt-destroyed homes embodied a fearful scene of ruthlessness, and raised a lot of questions throughout the country. A number of young generations condemned the silence of the government and especially the conservative stance of Hazara leaders.
Some of the local activists criticized the government silence calling it meaningful and deliberate; Qurban Ali Urzgani, the former governor of Daikundi, described it extremely tragic and destructive. He said, after a surprise Taliban attack nearly 42 people including small children, men and women were killed; dozens wounded and their houses were either destroyed or looted. As a result, more than 400 displaced families live in temporary mosques and shelters, and so far they have not received any emergency assistance from any organizations. Because of freezing weather in Urazgan and lack of basic requirements, the lives of  hundreds of men, women,  and children are extremely at risk.
According to Qurban Ali Urzagani, Taliban were equipped with modern weapons and governmental facilities. It seems that some circles try to belittle or hide the tragedy but the span of tragedy was beyond their ability to conceal the issue. He criticized the governor of Urzagan because he justified Taliban’s act as if they have carried out the attack on a local commander, Shujjaee, with contribution of local people. While numerous civilian were killed or arrested, and on the other hand, Taliban fighters have repeatedly tried to seize Uruzgan strategic location in order to penetrate to Ghazni province, but have faced severe local police resistance. However, in the last clash, Taliban 23 Taliban were killed and also a few injured and arrested.
Following the long government silence, the Second Vice President Sarwar Danish also criticized security institutions for being unaware or negligence of a Taliban attack over people in Khas Urozgan district of Urozgan province. Speaking at an event in Kabul, Danish said that Afghan security forces must provide urgent support to residents of the area. “Hundreds of families have been displaced. Unfortunately, no action has been taken either by local authorities or security organs in the center to safeguard people against Taliban attacks,” he said. VP Danish further said that some governmental spokesmen were even unaware of the situation in the province.
He added that residents of the area came under “Taliban’s brutal attacks” because they are supporting the central government. “Security forces must defend the innocent people of this area as soon as possible, through every possible means. They should not allow this issue to be changed into another knot,” he emphasized. Meanwhile, Danish urged residents of the area to strongly defend themselves against attackers and bullies and not to give up to the invaders.
Thus, the Uruzgan Provincial Council members and lawmakers criticized security departments over not paying attention to security problems in the province. They said security challenges have plagued the province for the past many years, but according to them, relevant departments have not acted against them. “Trinkot and six districts are about to fall. This is not a new problem; it has existed over the past two and half years. People are killed every day and there is conflict every day,” said Amanullah Hotaki, a member of Uruzgan Provincial Council.
“It is about two months that Trinkot (the provincial center) is about to collapse,” Mohammad Hanif Hanifi, a lawmaker, said. “There are security forces in Uruzgan If they really know their duties, there will be no need for other (forces),” Atiqullah Amarkhel, a former military officer, said.
In addition to this, they (the security officials) have also shown their inability in defense of Faryab key bases that fell to Taliban. It is warned by experts if the central government do not take prompt measures regarding Faryab, then Dawlatabad, Sherin Tagab and Khwaja Sabzposh districts would collapse and there was also possibility of the fall of Maimana. A Taliban member in Dawlatabad district confirmed the capture of the base, said three police were killed, and 15 others held hostage. According to local media news,  Dawlatabad road that also fell into the hands of insurgents. “The contact between Dawlatabad and Shergin Tagab districts is broken, no village or area is under the government control. The fall of the last base means the two districts are besieged.” According to media reports, there is no security post on the highway between Maimana, the provincial capital, Khwaja Sabzposh, Sherin Tagab, Dawlatabad and until Qaramqul district as all posts had been captured by the Taliban.
Eventually, almost one week after the event, the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) informed that they have sent more troops to resolve security problems in Urozgan. “More security and defense forces have been deployed to the area and fortunately now the security situation is under the control of government forces,” the deputy spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said. Thus, President Ashraf Ghani directed government forces to address security problems in Khas Uruzgan district. “Because government is too busy in most parts of the country, sometimes problems in some places are not addressed soon,” said Nabi Misdaq, an advisor to President Ghani.
Overall, the reactive approach of security forces should be changed to proactive approach otherwise their ever late and reactive approach cannot revive the lives of innocent children, men, and women. In addition, the displaced people must be rescued from various diseases, deaths, and freezing weather. As aforementioned dozens of civilians in Hussaini (comprising 8 sub-villages) Kariz and Kondalan area in Urozgan are in extreme need of emergency assistance.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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