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Editorial: Avoid actions that entail apology!

Afghanistan is at a stage now where its people’s emotions oscillate between being dispirited and, at the same time, hopeful. The positive vibes coming from the Doha talks raise their hopes, but the insecurity and unabated violence are there to take them away. Recently, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) figures showed that attacks masterminded by the Taliban rose sharply last year, with the fourth quarter seeing a total of 8,204 attacks, up from 6,974 during the same period in 2018. While on the other hand, the US also didn’t lag behind as its troops dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than any other year since the Pentagon began keeping a tally in 2006 – 7,423 bombs and other munitions were dropped on Afghanistan, a nearly eightfold increase from 2015. This record high hike in violence is counter-intuitive because the warring sides claim of reducing violence as there is a lot of hype around a soon-to-be-signed peace accord between the Taliban and the US negotiators but situation on the ground prove otherwise. A recent report revealed that at least 50 civilians have been killed or injured in the past one month in four Afghan and two US air raids against residential areas in Herat, Farah, Laghman, Balkh, Kunduz, Badghis and Uruzgan provinces. These faulty operations translate into the fact that Afghans constitute firewood for the ongoing, never-ending war. Lamentably, nobody then takes credit or responsibility for these war atrocities and the victims’ families never find access to justice. Of all these, the US forces recently apologized for the airstrike in Kunduz that killed five members of a family. It’s just one case for which the foreign forces took responsibility but there numerous others which go unnoticed. Given these incidents, the US administration’s rhetoric and pledges of protecting civilians are utterly trampled on. The government and the US forces should heed the fact that they should avoid any action that makes them to be apologetic. Their apology and expression of sorrows cannot bring the beloved and lost ones of the victim families back. The Taliban are not angels, too, when it comes to civilians. They follow suit and carry out their attacks, regardless and unmindful of the collateral damage they would cause. The foreign forces should bring to halt operations that cause civilian casualties because, in addition to committing a war crime, these blunders of theirs would come at the price of fueling ‘xenophobia’ toward them. Therefore, all the warring parties should make a firm pledge and assure that not only shouldn’t they victimize innocent people but protect them and this must be turned into a top priority. Otherwise, they are merely putting on faux public posturing and are proving that it’s a grisly and horrible war where everybody is in pursuit of their interests and nobody cares about humanity or believes in peace.

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