Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Fears of Ethnic Violence as Afghan Taliban Target Hazara districts

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Fears of Ethnic Violence as Afghan Taliban Target Hazara districts

Following the recent deadly attacks in Urozgan, the Taliban launched coordinated attacks from several directions on Jaghori districts leaving nearly 30 dead and 21 wounded, as estimated by a local resident today (Saturday afternoon). Taliban also burnt residential houses, destroyed telephone networks, and blocked the ways to urban centers while the war is being continued. Such war is imposed on the people who are more famous to be peaceful, loyal to new democratic system; they are committed to live under democratic system, send their girls and boys to education, participate in election process, and wish to have brotherly relation with all regardless of any differences. Nevertheless, they are stormed by the Taliban, but the government is failed to defend the people in the realm of its rule.
Taliban stormed the most secure area of Afghanistan. First, they attacked two border check posts of local police in Angory and Dawood area of Jaghori from Rasana neighboring area being equipped with high-tech weaponries. They warned the west of Jaghori (Hecha and Baba village) to surrender otherwise would attack by the given deadline – Saturday 2PM. The people are very disappointed due to being disarmed and lacking of government. They are afraid of repeating the tragedy happened in their neighboring district Urozgan.
Most people criticize government over their inability and not taking on-time action; some of the Ghazni MPs in the Wolesi Jirga also accused government, especially security departments, of being negligent regarding the Jaghori attack. The MPs said although they repeatedly urged government to send backup forces to Jaghori and save people from Taliban’s attacks, security departments did nothing to help. “Government must defend the lives and properties of the people,” MP Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi said. “No action has been taken and the security officials with their false promises and irresponsible and negligent behavior have allowed the terror attacks and death of our people to increase,” MP Shah Gul Rezaie said. However, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazavi initially stated on his Facebook page that helicopters were sent to Jaghori air space to fight the enemy. He also wrote that Jaghori will become the burial site of the Taliban.
In recent years, such attacks are increasingly repeated on Hazara community. Taliban and IS have been accused of committing human rights violations against certain group of people.  However, The Taliban denied targeting “any specific race, ethnicity or sect,” in a statement posted on their website. The attacks were against the “Kabul regime and American hireling positions in Jaghori”, spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. This is said after, many expressed concerns about the apparent deliberate targeting of Hazaras.
The latest attacks on Jaghori comes after tragic battle between Taliban fighters and Hazara civilian with local police in the central province of Uruzgan Khas that reportedly killed one hundred people and around 500 families displaced to neighboring districts. Due to late action by security forces and vastness of tragedy it is highly pertinent to any fair person to ask why the government take delayd action. Is it lacking will to defend their obedient people against terrorist or it lacks ability? In fact, this is a common the question on the tip of every tongue, and so the government must respond to this question.
From the standpoint of international humanitarian law, these laws are also violated in the presence of the international community, particularly in terms of war crimes as civilian areas are widely targeted by the military. This situation requires that the international community and the NATO mission in Afghanistan, based on international humanitarian law, actively support the victims and the people at risk.
Anyway, It seems that the Taliban want to extend their territory to Malistan and Jaghori, to control all of these areas and put more pressure on the central government. Thus, they compel Hazaras to surrender, and want to make them more disappointed from government and international support. If the Taliban reaches this goal, the legitimacy of the central government, will weaken and religiously will be argued that this state has lost the necessary power and authority.
If the security forces fail to fulfil their duty to protect these people, the distances and distrust between the government and people will increase. At least, the result for the existing government will be, not to vote in the upcoming elections, as it could not defend them against terrorists. While the more important consequence is that the Hazaras have historically always had the idea that they should defend themselves independently and treat themselves as being at risk. It is important, because this feeling has become more prominent today highlighting the danger of IS and the Taliban, and it becomes a deep understanding of the whole people. If this demand is not met by the government and and international partners, then it is more likely to propel people towards unexpected approaches such as Alipoor, Shojai and so on. The consequence is that the country is to be engulfed with a sectarian and proxy war.
Therefore, the logic of politics requires that the government and its partners rescue the Hazaras of Jaghori, Malistan and Uruzgan and if not, the Hazara community will lose their belief in the existing system as a whole. As a result, peaceful, law-governed, and civilian people will inevitably turn to violent and out-of-state control to defend themselves. While the Defense is easy and relatively costless. In addition, the security forces must change their reflective approach towards proactive approach, and it is useless to show themselves when houses are burnt and things are destroyed. They cannot revive the lives of innocent children, men, and women once they are massacred.

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

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