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Editorial: Zealous Afghans celebrating I-Day

A security scare happened in the capital as Afghans celebrated the country’s 101st Independence Day. At least 10, including children and women, were injured as more than a dozen mortar shells slammed into various parts of Kabul on Tuesday morning. Despite some other security incidents across the country, zealous Afghans in every nook and cranny of the country weren’t discouraged and took to streets in celebrations. It’s because such insecurity isn’t a first-time experience for Afghanistan, and thus Afghan masses have become accustomed to such a situation. Interruption of national celebrations in the past with rocket fires have been the handiwork of Daesh. Last year, around the same time when Afghanistan was celebrating the centennial of wresting back independence from Britain, a horrific blast in a wedding hall of the capital killed 63 people and wounded another 182. But Afghans don’t give in to such scaring incidents and have always shown their resilience by zealous celebrations of a hard-won reclamation of independence. By Independence Day celebrations in the face of security challenges, the country showed that it would stand irrepressible in front of such acts of violence and nefarious designs. However, the recent attack in Kabul came amid new uncertainties over the start of talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government. A day earlier the government said it would not release the last 320 Taliban prisoners it holds until the insurgents free more captured Afghan soldiers. The decision went against that of Loya Jirga and is likely to further delay intra-Afghan peace talks sought by the Afghan masses and the US. Also, some foreign countries’ backlash to the release of the hardcore prisoners is a factor in play that has affected the release process. So these developments show that although Afghan flags wave and Independence Day environment is pervasive across the country, Afghanistan still faces colossal challenges in the security realm and that resolving issues on the path to peace is still an ordeal. Therefore, these challenges need a response commensurate with the gravity of the crisis; however, nothing can be done when violence is continuing and pretexts are sought to postponing the intra-Afghan talks by both sides.

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