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Editorial: Acid attack on schoolgirls in Herat

Living with scars of acid is always a hardest part of the acid victims. Hell-bent on spreading terror, perpetrators throw acid into their victims’ faces in a bid to disfigure the victims severely. The results are always horrifying. Scarred for life, the victims usually lose their sight in one or both eyes whereas some others are psychologically traumatized. This trauma is beyond endurance. Should it happen with the family members of the perpetrators, and there will be no acid-hurling-attacks. Acid attack is the worst form of terrorism as almost all the attacks have been on women and girls, therefore, there must me the harshest punishment for the perpetrators. Schoolgirls in this troubled and ill-fated country had been victims of acid attacks as a punishment for attending school. The horrendous act of acid hurling took place the other day when three girls, teenagers, were making their way to school in the western Herat province. They were intercepted by two men on motorbikes who hurled the acid at them. They reportedly told the girls:  “This is the punishment for going to school.” Intolerance for education among the diehard extremist forces is awful as these teenage girls have paid a heavy price for education. Girls face a number of hindrances to education as a result of attacks by militants who sternly oppose girls’ education. Nearly 2.4 million girls are currently receiving no form of education, compared to 1.6 million boys. This is a huge loss as millions of girls and boys are being brought up as illiterate in an age where the world is changing as much fastest as it leaves the illiterate in a state of utter despair. Even in the face of unspeakable hardships, 12 percent of girls are literate, according to a recent UN report. There is no horrendous and biggest crime than disfiguring people with acid attack. The government must not remain silent on the issue. Religious scholars must also play their role as the peace-loving religion Islam never allows such inhuman acts of terror. This is not only worth lamenting but condemning that the government has failed in finding out what usually causes poisoning of schoolgirls? If a government couldn’t know who is behind poisoning the schoolgirls or what cause it, how it will successfully fight terrorism. There have been numerous incidences of poisoning of girls at schools, but in the incidents of acid attacks psychological and emotional recovery is usually a greater and painful challenge then the physical one. There were 12 arrests in 2008 in acid attack case, but any such development is expected in the recent acid hurling act?

Back in 90s, the fighters of Gulbaddin Hekmatyar were the first to carry out acid attacks against girls. To quell the trend of acid trend the government will have to do extra yards. The government must direct the intelligence service to carry out an investigation and try to know who were behind the attack.

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