Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

The Political Message of Target Killings in Afghanistan

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The Political Message of Target  Killings in Afghanistan

On the eve of the warm and spring season, the terrorist fighters once again refreshed their commitment to war and bloodshed and no to peace with killing three women media workers in the eastern part of Afghanistan, in the bustling city of Jalalabad. They also want to persist that they pay no importance to modern values including freedom of media, freedom of expression, human rights, women rights, and overall modern values. In addition, they want to show the weakness of security forces with successive attacks on the heart of the large cities of the country killing dozens of journalists and scholars who are the real capital of the country. Earlier, Malalai Maiwad, a journalist and a social activist, and her driver were killed in the same city who worked at the same media. The media supporting organizations always complain about the weakness of security officials and question the will of the government in taking preventive measures and also pursuing the journalist’s cases in the justice system. A large number of journalists and social activists, who were the actual capital of the country, have been mysteriously killed, but their killers have not transparently punished in Afghanistan.
According to political experts, lack of political will, lack of capacity in the government apparatus, and rise of violence are the most important factors in the slow pace of prosecuting journalists’ cases in Afghanistan. The Afghan government all the time put blame on the Taliban for such targeted-killings, but the Taliban do not waste a minute to deny their involvement. Meanwhile, neither the Afghan government has properly identified the perpetrators of these killings, nor has the Taliban proved its neutrality and impartiality in the successive target killings. The people of Afghanistan expect the government of Afghanistan to properly do its responsibility against citizens of the country. In fact, the responsibility of the government is more than the blame game, condolences, and wishing paradise for the martyred while with every moment the number of widows, orphans, and disabled is increased in the already poor and war-torn country.Undoubtedly, the attacks on media workers in Jalalabad are part of the recent targeted-killings around the county, which continued for the past more than one year and it has been accelerated with the start of intra-Afghan talks in Doha. Such deliberate attacks continue to take a toll on journalists, civil society activists, intellectuals, religious leaders, female employees, judges, doctors, and of course the members of Afghan security forces. Based on a UN report which was released in February, at least 65 media professionals and human rights activists have been killed in a series of targeted killings across Afghanistan, from 2018 through the first month of the current year. The targeted killing of journalists has not only caused a state of fear in the journalistic community but also led to self-censorship, abandonment of media activities, and even leaving the country. It said that a number of journalists and political activists have already started planning to leave the country while democracy or republican system is meaningless without freedom of media and freedom of expression.In democratic systems media considered as the fourth pillar of a government; According to international conventions to which Afghanistan is a signatory and according to Article 50 of the Afghan Constitution, “Right to Know” or “Right of Access to Information” is a fundamental human right for every Afghan citizen. It can play an important role in the fight against corruption and the right to access information increases transparency, accountability, public participation, and democracy development. So, it is expected that the government, human rights org, and international allies to rescue the media from the current critical situation of fear and terror. The government, instead of repeating condolence, must overtly and seriously punish the perpetrators of the crimes so that no one dares to carry out such attacks in the future. The International allies and humanitarian organizations should also not waste a minute in putting pressure on terrorist and terrorist supporters to stop killing civilians, in particular journalists and media workers in the country.As aforementioned, commencing the warm season with the killing and shedding the blood of the best youths of this land is not a good presage for the New Year. The security forces must be more cautious and more active because the successive act of terror conveys a clear message that the enemies of this land have no factual will for peace and that there has been no change in their violent nature. Since the beginning of the Qatar peace talks up to the date, the war and violence have steadily intensified in the country. If we compare this period with a time when the US-Taliban peace talks had not started, even when the intra-Afghan talks were not started, we can see much more intensification in the later period. This trend questionably raised the concerns that the insurgent fighters have no serious will for peace in the country. In fact, they expect the people, the government, and even international allies to surrender but its shows the unrealistic calculation of Taliban and Taliban supporters from political facts of modern Afghanistan. It is true that the Taliban has gained some confidence during the Doha peace process, their deeds will never be eliminated from the historical memory of Afghanistan.  Therefore, the people of Afghanistan and brave security forces will not allow such a group to dominate the country.  Afghan security forces, regardless of ethnical difference, they are considered as strong deterrent power. Afghan security forces have not only protected the country from the clutches of terrorist groups but also thwarted the nightmares of those who dreamt of destabilizing the world and the Green Continent.

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

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