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Editorial: Save democracy

A couple of suicide bombers—some reports say one while others believe there were two bombers—apparently targeted the people gathered on Saturday at the Dehmazang crossroad of Kabul to protest what they call ‘government’s injustice’ in routing the power line.

Though the Middle East based Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack that left more than 80 protesters killed and injured about 250 others, but the attack created dozens of questions including the culprit. The government immediately condemned the bombing and President Ashraf Ghani declared the day after the attack as ‘national day of mourning’. These steps were taken to express sympathy with the families of the victims and to calm the protesters. The members of the Enlightenment Movement accuse the security forces of not being serious, alleging that some of the protesters were shot dead. They also claim that the government was aware of the bombings, as some senior security officials had earlier warned the protesters of the “certain attacks”.

The commission assigned by the government was not accepted by the Enlightenment Movement, because it was a government body. The protesters believe the commission would not be impartial and would announce the government is not guilty. They want an “impartial commission” with people from the movement to replace it.

Apart from all WHYs and HOWs raised from the two sides, one thing was a matter of very concern for the people, ‘attack democracy’ that is called as a toddler in Afghanistan. Everybody knows that Afghanistan had not seen democracy in the past. The previous rulers both the monarchs and those who were called ‘president’ almost did not trust in democracy and used to behave violently.

Attack on the protesters who came to the streets for their civil rights, showed that we are still much far from democracy in action, despite the slogans our rulers shout for. Maybe the government does not have hand in the bombing, but it did not do enough for the security of the peaceful demonstration, which Mr President called “the right of everyone”. The president and his government should have taken foolproof security measures to avoid any untoward incident.

They had blocked the roads for protesters for some unknown or ridiculous reasons, and did not open them to help in taking the injured to the hospitals and other medical facilities mostly located in the parts of the city out of access for the protesters. Many other things that the government could do for the safety of the peaceful demonstration were not in sight.

Some certain media outlets who opposed the protests, called the bombings as “attack on Hazaras”, “attack on Shiites” and other words that show their carelessness and even efforts for a rift among the people of a single country.

If we really want a united Afghanistan where democracy is respected in action, we should respect peaceful protests and protesters. Otherwise, we will mourn for democracy.

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