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Editorial: Obstructing health services

Taliban militants have shut down dozens of clinics and dispensaries in central Maidan Wardak province, adjacent to capital Kabul thus depriving thousands of helpless and war stricken countrymen of their basic rights of health services. Around 42 health facilities, run by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan have been closed so far. Since commencing of hard days of Afghanistan with invasion of former USSR troops on December 27th, 1979, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is engaged in welfare and relief activities for the countrymen both inside Afghanistan and refugees population in neighbouring Pakistan. Still when almost of members of global community either shifted its relief activities to Afghanistan or packed it back, the Swedish Committee is still extending help to the Afghan nationals scattered in Pakistan. Reports reveals that the Swedish Committee runs around 77 health facilities in Maidan Wardak province and 42 of it closed with gun point. “Due to this closure , an estimated number of over 5,700 patients are affected on daily basis,” the aid group states in a release, adding, “ denying people medical treatment and health services in this way “is an obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.” The SCA‘s country Director Sonny Mansson said,” we demand immediate reopening of all health facilities for the people  and we strongly urge all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from such actions which deliberately put civilian lives at risk. So far Taliban militants didn’t issued any statement regarding closure of these health facilities or in response to SCA director’s appeal for reopening of these clinics.  Closure of health facilities in Maidan Wardak province was a follow up of deadly terror attack against the Afghan Security Forces commandos in Badghis province whereas Governor confirmed killing of at least 20. Since concluding of intra-Afghan conference in Doha Qatar some ten days back, violent acts in parts and parcels of Afghanistan is on rise. The conference declared an agreement between two sides, suggesting countering the growing violence and hostilities in the war-stricken motherland. Unfortunately soon after dispersal of participants one of Taliban leader has declared that resolution is a recommendation not binding, thus encouraging militants of continuing deadly terrorist acts. It is ironic that Qatar and Germany who remain host of the two days intra Afghan conference are still mum over growing/continuing violent acts in Afghanistan. Similar is the position of US and its special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, brokering peace process since previous September. The global community needs to break up the silence at this crucial stage as Afghans are no more capable to sustain deadly violent acts or alarming hostilities for power and perks. World must come forward and help in ending of terror acts and reconciliation amongst the warring factions.

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