Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Who Is Responsible for Rise of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan?

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Who Is Responsible for Rise of  Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan?

The civilian causalities have been a serious challenge in conflict of Afghanistan which raised a lot criticism and hatred in national and international level. The latest case as claimed by Helmand provincial council members and also some local people, a number of people killed and injured in Helmand province by national security operation, but the national defense ministry announced that 22 foreign members of Taliban killed and 14 others were arrested in the operation. This types of issues become more complicated when Taliban also claim that Afghan government forces target civilians. Therefore, it really needs some impartial researches on who is factually responsible for rise of civilian casualties in the country?
Most of local analysts blame Taliban as they are, directly or indirectly, more responsible for civilian causalities in the country. The government officials also blame Taliban seeing that they use civilian as human shield and so they have been killed or massacred in conflicts of Afghanistan. According to Kabir-e Haqmal, National Security Council speaker, thousands of Taliban crimes have been documented in a book which recently introduced in a ceremony. He said, these crimes include countless killings of civilians that Taliban committed since 2003 up to the date.
According to the National Security Council speaker, the main objective of the published book was to attract attention of humanitarian organization and international community on widespread civilian causalities in Afghanistan. As he said, this book also aims to aware public opinion and make criminals accountable for what they perpetrated and imposed on innocent civilian in the country. Based on this and other daily reports, Taliban and Daesh groups are more often blamed to be the main perpetrators of crimes and civilian causalities in the country.  In addition to civilian causalities, there are some mysterious attacks, events and assassination that no one claims its responsibilities and considered as a part of ongoing war in the country.
According to Sobh-e Kabul daily quoted from a humanitarian research center, more than four thousand people killed within the current year. Earlier to this, UNAMA had also revealed a report in which 37% of casualties were attributed to government forces but 52% casualties were attributed to the anti-government elements. The mentioned organization also announced that during the peace talks between the US and Taliban, the war became more destructive for civilian targeted public structures, mosques, schools, villages and other civilian buildings. However, an agreement was signed between the Taliban and representatives of Afghan civil society members and political figures on reduction of attacks on civilians.
Anyway, it is nearly two decades that thousands of civilians and non-civilians and Taliban who are also Afghan killed in the country.  In addition, public infrastructure such as schools, mosques, market, masques, roads, and etc have been destroyed. In certain occasions, like during the peace process and now in the eve of election, the bloodshed intensified aiming to cancel the election. Nevertheless, no one has reached their goal and demand but killed innocent people and destroyed our land which is our common motherland, too.   
Hence, let’s call everyone to stop destroying our common motherland. Let’s expect all warring sides to pay respect to internal humanitarian laws and values. Given the justification of extremist groups, especially Taliban as fighting on basis of Islamic principle, they must take necessary measures on preventing attacks on civilian people and public structures. As ,from one hand, killing innocent people is the greatest crime in Islam and on the other hand, no group can reach their goals with killing of innocent children, men and women. No group would reach their goal by attacks on wedding ceremonies, mosques, schools and other civilian gatherings.
Taliban are also Afghan and so we must help them not to be misused by intelligence networks. They think that they are fighting for freedom of the country but their actions pave the ground for more interference of foreign people in the country. The Taliban should understand that their action is not justifiable by any system or criteria in the world. If they had not been against our government in last twenty years, we could better utilize from presence of international allies and opportunities for construction of the country. Taliban might consider violence as its strength point while it shows their weakness and its incompatibility to modern values spreading hatred among the people. The history of Afghanistan will never forget what extremist groups imposed in last two decades on the already deprived people.
Now, in the eve of election, Taliban should not try to interrupt the election because a weak and illegitimate government is not in interest of Afghanistan. Thus, it is the responsibility of Afghan government to protect election process and supreme interests of the country against terrorists and their supporters. We should encourage Afghan allies and friends to take serious steps against increasing casualties in Afghanistan. We must not allow the country to be repeatedly invaded by terrorist groups and other foreign elements. The political circles and political leaders must not try to victimize national interests against their own personal and family interests.
Lastly, people should also contribute to the security forces when they plan to have any big social events or see any suspicious issue in their community and neighborhood. It means, in some cases, some people are also blamable as they do not have enough cooperation with government. Stranger terrorists penetrate into our community; they live in our neighborhood; they implement their destructive plan but we do not know! In fact, it needs a separate study why some of our young generations tend to be more compatible to extremist groups than our legitimate government?

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

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