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Editorial: Social revolt

Presence of insurgents and terrorists are not the only troubles that caught the Afghan people, especially those who are fighting for survival and have no assets abroad. Land grabbing is rampant. Abduction for ransom is taking place on daily basis—before eyes of the state machinery. The government is well-aware of the growing crime rate but the relevant authorities do not pay heed because they are feeling safe in their highly fortified homes and barricaded offices. The high-ranking officials have fewer worries when it comes to safety of their children because they go to schools, picnic and shopping-malls in armored vehicles. They have the gift of bodyguards protecting them 24/7.

In this picture of dual system for citizens we can see another group of people who are not holding government positions but they are as powerful as the top officials. They are accompanied by highly-armed bodyguards all the time. They can gather over 100 fighters in hours. They can even pressurize the government to alter decisions in their favor. They use different names but they are also at the helm of power in the Afghan society. Some of them or their friends may be involved in serious crimes. The government officials will know about them, but they are above the law.

Seemingly, as projected by the ground realities, ordinary citizens have no share in the so-called democratic system. For general masses it is plutocracy rather than democracy because the rich are in power while the poor are dying to feed their children and keep them safe from vultures. Common people would have not suffered so much at the hands of militants and criminals if the laws were implemented in letter and spirit. People driving expensive pick-ups abduct children. The innocent children are killed when the kidnappers do not get ransom—amount that even a minister cannot pay.

How difficult it is to live in this country can be guessed from a video showing an abducted child. The video gone viral but the fate of the shirtless child is still unknown. The video is heart-wrenching. The crying child pleads to her mother to rescue him. The kidnappers wanted the video to go viral so they could get the ransom—US $100,000. It is a bold move taken by the abductors if seen at a first glance. However, those who are familiar with the justice and investigative systems know that the government is weak and cannot catch big fish. The National Directorate of Intelligence claimed rescuing the child on Tuesday evening. The spy agency did a wonderful job by rescuing the child. But it will not be end of crimes unless the government introduce comprehensive reforms and take growing crimes as a serious threat to the national security.

As a matter of fact, the law enforcement agencies know about these people. They also know that a poor man cannot earn bread for his family, let alone buying and maintaining a pick-up that is worth over $28,000. The government should fear revolution because it would be deadly and would wash away everything achieved since 2001. Public trust over the state is all times low. To restore the trust, the leaders in the power corridors must address the growing crime rate. Failure to do so could result in social revolt. At least it could provide an opportunity to the militants to cash miseries of the general public and turn it against the current system. Without fighting crimes the government would never succeed in defeating insurgents.

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