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Editorial: A wicked crime

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an international humanitarian movement. It has approximately 97 million volunteers worldwide. The core reason behind its establishment is to protect human life, providing health services aimed at ensuring to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

The committee has unique authority under international humanitarian law to protect the life and dignity of the victims of international and internal armed conflicts. However, the ICRC has suspended its mission in Afghanistan at a time when vulnerable Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The ICRC has temporarily halted its operations in Afghanistan after six of its aid workers were killed by militants in Jawzjan province. However, the organization has not blamed anyone for the attack, but the security officials suspected the Islamic State (IS), which is also known as Daesh terrorist group behind it. Two ICRC workers were also taken by the assailants. The employees were gunned down while simply doing their duty, selflessly trying to help and support the local community. Aid workers are independent and nothing to do with any groups. The Afghan masses always stand with ICRC, and highly commend their tireless work. Killing of aid workers is a wicked crime, and not justifiable at any laws.

This is not the first incident of its nature as about two months ago a foreign aid worker of the Red Cross was kidnapped in northwestern Kunduz province. Though he was released, but reason behind the abduction remained suspicious. The staff member was abducted while traveling from the ICRC office in Kunduz to the Sub-delegation in Mazar-i-Sharf. But this time militants killed ICRC staffers—a crime against humanity. Militant outfits, especially Daesh terrorist group are making every available effort to create a climate of fear and terror among aid workers. Nevertheless, the militants would not conquer in their evil designs as convey of humanitarian assistance would never halt in the war-hit country. ICRC temporarily stopped its mission, and would resume work in nearest time once complete its security assessments. Such attacks could not bring activities of the ICRC and other humanitarian agencies to an end in the country. It is crystal clear that humanitarian assistance is the need of the hour, and the aid agencies understand this better.

At the same time, it is the responsibility of government to protect aid workers by improving law and other situation. Without doubt, the failure of the government to deal with insecurity would further erode public trust over security organs. The Afghan security forces should nip the evil in the bud via carrying a comprehensive operation in every parts of the country. Elimination of terrorists is only way to protect aid workers.

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