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Editorial: Killing kids for money

Couple of days back, currency trading at Sara-i-Shehzada Kabul came to halt when the money changers made protest against inhuman act of kidnapping and strangulating to death a young girl-daughter of a fellow trader. The six-year old Mahsa is not the first ever victim of such a violence but kidnapping for ransom, killing of hostages after refusal of payment or due to violence, extortion and bombing the innocent victims and scores of other gruesome violent acts are taking place in the region from last several decades in Afghanistan and Pakhtoons dominated areas of neighbouring Pakistan. Most recently Abasin Zazai, son of a national trader was earlier abducted and killed in Karta-e-Naw neighborhood of Kabul. Justifying the shutter-down strike in protest, Meer Afghan Safi, head of the cashiers association said that the murder of Mahsa, a six years daughter of one of the cashiers in Sara-e-Sahzada exchange market has worried them. “Our protest is to demand execution of kidnappers who killed Mahsa and all those other kidnappers who are in prison right now,” he said, adding “abductions increased in the recent months and more than ten events happened in the last three months regarding of cashiers in Afghanistan. In fact the imposed trends of extremism and terrorism become major source of income. Even couple of years back, media had introduced a new word “terror economy.” In early years, Norco-trade remain major source of militants but later on they have indulged them in the heinous criminal acts of “kidnapping for ransom, target killing, extortion and harassing the well to do families with exploding Improvise Explosive Devises (IED’s) in front of their homes, Hujra’s and shops. The protestors demanded execution for the murderers, insisting that the government should be serious for their protection and safety. So far there is no any positive response/reaction on the part of government is visible. Only the interior ministry through a statement claimed that probe into Mahsa’s case is underway and more efforts would be paid to pave the ground for the protection and security of the traders and cashiers. “Mohsa’s case is completed and would be submitted to the attorney general office within 24 hours. Regarding cashiers’ safety, the interior ministry has ordered to its intelligence and operative organs to recognize and punish the kidnappers according to law,” said Nasrat Rahimi spokesman for the ministry of interior. But the money traders allege that government is just making attempts to deceive them with hallows slogans and utterly failed in ensuring safety and protection to the community. Though the Interior Ministry spokesman made claims and assurances but such a trend couldn’t be resolved or countered amidst continue trends of terror and violence in the region. The trend is not confined to Afghanistan but exists, even generated in neighbouring Pakistan, which is considered hub of militants. Almost criminals involved in kidnapping for ransom, extortion and others are existing in both the neighbouring countries and linked to each other. Now when the peace talks are entering into a decisive phase, therefore, Afghanistan government needs to ensure an end to criminals and terrorists involved in kidnapping for ransom and extortion throughout the region through US brokered peace talks. Similarly Kabul needs to take up the matter with Islamabad in to bid to adopt a joint strategy for countering such evils even to ensure its eradication forever.

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