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Aerial firing and hollow promises

After Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe in the ODI series on Wednesday night, the calm scene in the capital city was abruptly changed. Kabul city presented the scene of a battlefield. The gunshots echoed the valley where hundreds of orphans and widows live, tired of bomb blasts and gunfire. All this happened right under the Ministry of Interior (MoI) nose. The ministry a few days ago said that nobody would be allowed to resort to aerial firing to celebrate the victory of Afghanistan in the ODI or SAFF Championship against India.

Those cricket fans that caused panic among the residents in search of fun in the aerial firing are worthy of severe criticism, but the MoI is even more because it was not the first time that the ministry had failed to translate the statements into actions. The celebratory firing was a slap for those who issue hollow statements. For one hour, there was no action on part of the relevant authorities. The intense aerial firing proved that the interior ministry had no action plan to prevent the insane fans from celebratory firing. Stray bullets claimed life of a teenager and wounded three others.

Scores of fans with automatic rifles were dancing and firing in streets of Parwan-e-Do, Parwan-e-Seh, Karta-e-Parwan and other areas of the capital city. The firing that started after 11:00 p.m. continued for almost two and half hours. Heart patients stuck their fingers in ears to block out gun sounds. Mothers were consoling their children after the gunfire awakened them from cozy sleep. Some of mature fans showed reaction over the aerial firing on social media. However, it has changed nothing because seeking fun in the gunshots is running in veins of some people like blood.

Hundreds of expats are working in Afghanistan. Most of them live in Kabul city. It will be hard to erase the picture from their mind that the aerial firing has projected. What the foreign envoys and representatives of foreign organizations will think about us and especially the government? How can we assure them that we don’t love bullets and are tired of violence if we resort to aerial firing on such victories? We shall ask these questions in order to realize in which direction we are going.

Imagine cost of a single bullet and then firing for one hour. In this country where over 60 percent people live below the poverty line, it does matter. These people should have given the money to their poor countrymen to triple their happiness and celebrate the victory in a manner that would bring comfort to the distressed souls.

There are many people who cook rotten tomatoes for children and soak bread in water to kill the hunger. Now the choice is ours that whether we want to kill them with stray bullets or ease their sufferings. Of course, the latter is the best idea to prove that we are true sons of this soil and are united.  As far as the interior ministry is concerned, it had failed again. Arrest of 35 people does not matter because aerial firing has become an established practice. First, the ministry shall fire or suspend all those officials who were responsible for maintaining peace in the city. Second, the ministry shall launch an awareness drive to educate people as it is doing against insurgency. Without these steps, the ministry could not bring any positive change.

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