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Editorial: Be careful

There is a variety of religions and cultures across the globe. Not all of them follow similar guidelines and practices, but there are some shared values between most, if not all. Respect and tolerance for others religion, and culture is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships. The Afghan people always respected and tolerate other’s religious beliefs, and they are seeking unity in diversity. At the same time, they are also optimistic in others to be tolerant and friendly to their religion and culture. Currently prompted indignation among the Afghan people has been observed against the US forces stationed in the country over distribution of a highly offensive propaganda leaflet in Parwan province, north of Kabul on Tuesday. The leaflet is contained Islamic verses in the insurgent banner superimposed on the image of a dog, fleeing from the lion. Associating an image of a dog with the sacred text could not be justified in Afghanistan, and it is stoking anti-US sentiments among the general public. Although a senior US commander in the country has apologized for this unforgivable act and vowed that investigation would be held into the matter to determine the cause, and hold the culprits accountable. It is good to have a timely response from the US forces. However, prior to this, copies of the Holy Quran, and other religious texts were unintentionally burned at Bagram Air Base, and a film of US troops, urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban militants, prompted to anger, investigation and criminal charges. That’s why, apology is not everlasting treatment for the issue which is needed for a comprehensive policy by the foreigners to be based on basic understanding, common grounds, thoughtful thinking, questions, and teaching respect and necessary love for religious beliefs and culture of Afghan people. It is known to all, during the Afghan War, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan was involved in humiliating the Afghan pride and burnt the Qurans and mosques in a bid to prompt massive anger and resistance against Russian occupation over Afghanistan. It was an evil, but successful strategy which helped them in their wide range campaign against Russia and its Afghan partners. Dishonoring religious and cultural values of Afghans would fuel anti-foreigner sentiments and could fracture bilateral ties and partnership, as Afghans are very much sensitive to religion and culture. However, they were never religious extremists and terrorist. Terrorism and man-made religious fundamentalism are being imposed on Afghanistan by the foreigners. The US civil and military leadership must be cautious with our joint enemies, destabilizing Afghanistan and undermining US-led NATO war on terror. The US and NATO member countries have to contribute more in strengthening the civil and military institutions of Afghanistan. The four years development program for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces must be approved and latest radar system should be installed in Afghanistan to control air space. Further tougher approach towards Pakistan and others, aiding and sheltering terrorist outfits should be adopted rather than humiliating the Afghan pride.

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