Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Taliban: the Monster of Terror and Kidnap in Highways of Central Areas

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Taliban: the Monster of Terror and Kidnap in Highways of Central Areas

Although Taliban justify their war on basis of Islamic values and principles, they constantly terrified and kidnapped innocent passengers in central areas in last two decades.  Based on latest news, this is the third time within a month that they abduct the Jaghori and Malistan travelers from Dasht-e Qarabagh highway. The latest event happened few days ago when they abducted four civilian passengers in the mentioned highways.  Based on local residents of Jaghori reported this morning, the number of hostages taken by the Taliban in the last one month has now risen to 52 people. In general, the people of Jaghori, Malistan and Urozgan pass through this way in a smuggled way. Whenever and wherever Taliban wish they take ransom from already poor people with abducting passengers as hostage. They also extort money from traders who transfer goods from Ghazni and other provinces to Jaghori, Malistan and Urzgan. As a result, not only the prices of foods and basic materials increased in these areas but also hundreds and thousands of residents of these areas have compelled to leave the area and the country for ever. In last two decades, thousands families abandoned these areas and the countries for ever .
As pointed out, the issue of these areas and their highways are not a new problem. In November 2018, Taliban launched massive attacks on Jaghori, Malistan and Uruzgan killing about 150 people with nearly 4000 families displaced, many houses were burnt, telephone networks destroyed other public services such as schools, universities, businesses and so forth had all effected. In that time, it was said that they wanted to expose their open their way through the central area to the northern regions of the country while with resistance of people the Taliban could not to reach this goal, but they changed their methods with abducting civilians and collecting ransoms. Unfortunately, the government has not taken any serious measures to decrease from the problem of already poor people .
The endless harassment of Taliban with silence of government has actually raised a lot of hatreds and concerns in the country. According to political experts, the Taliban use hostage-taking as means of pressure on the government during peace process with increasing public dissatisfaction from the government inability against protection of civilians. In addition to this, this is a lucrative business for Taliban in Ghazni province to take hostage and collect ransom. They usually do not release the hostages until they receive large sums of money from the poor residents of these districts. In the latest case, it is said that the Taliban asked a lot of money while the local people cannot afford to pay.  If the local people do not pay such a heavy ransom to the Taliban, the hostages might be killed while there is no authority to hear the voice of voiceless people. In fact, the local and central government have never decisively proceeded to fundamentally resolve the problem of people as if they do not belong to this land.  As result, Dasht-e Qarbagh which is considered as a trade and transit bottleneck for residents of the three districts of Ghazni province has become a haven for the Taliban
Unfortunately, the representatives of Ghazni province are also silent not doing anything about it. Maybe they become disappointed as the issues related to these areas are intentionally remained unsolved. They know that the problems of Hazaras are not confined to the hostage taking in highways but also they face problem in universities, educational centers, hiring process in government bodies, national election, national budget and overall distribution of wealth and opportunities. Despite secure conditions of central areas in last two decades, they have not benefited from national projects and international aid. The people of these areas repeatedly asked the government to asphalt the highway of about 28 km as solution to these problems but have not heard yet. They think the construction of this road is important for safety and security of the passengers but frequently postponed by this government. This route was supposed to be asphalted many years ago. When the international forces stationed in Ghazni province, they had undertaken its fund, but now these forces have gone from Ghazni province and the road is still earthy and just changed to the route of death and kidnap .
In general, if the government does not proceed to solve the problem of these people releasing the latest hostages, the Taliban may kill the innocent passengers. Unfortunately, they use any tools and actions to achieve its political goals and do not care about moral and human rules and norms. For them, the lives of innocent civilians are not important, and they are not bound by any human principles. In fact, the continued oppression of Taliban which includes hostage taking, blockade of ways and food items and eventually forceful migration of the helpless people are all considered crimes against humanity. This morale of the Taliban has repeatedly led to humanitarian catastrophe and the Taliban have started massacring passengers. For example, the mass killing of 14 passengers on the Kabul-Ghor road while all the victims were civilians. Hundreds to times they killed civilians using them as human shields, destroyed and looted public property and dozens of other crimes against humanity but the government has not taken any serious actions in some cases. To end with, the report cart of Taliban in treating with civilians is fully black and dark but the silence of the government is also questionable hoping to end the silence as soon as possible .

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

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