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Editorial: Bloody Independence Day

People and government were preparing to celebrate the 100th independence anniversary on Monday, with government planning to mark the day this time different from the previous years, more glorious and luxurious as it turned to 100 years.

All the plans and programs were canceled after Kabul residents were shocked to hear about a horrific attack struck a wedding ceremony. The attack which was the almost the first ever to target a wedding, killed nearly 100 men, women and children and wounded around 200 more.

The attack was followed by multiple bomb blasts in Kabul, Jalalabad city, provincial capital of Nangarhar and mortar attack on the Mehtarlam city, capital of the neighboring province of Laghman. At least 10 roadside bombs exploded in different parts of Jalalabad city in which, according to local officials, 70 civilians were injured. Another bomb blast targeted a group of people who were celebrating independence day in Kabul’s west part.

This does not matter which group was behind the attack that gave a dark day for the people of Afghanistan, especially for Kabul residents. Taliban, Daesh or other armed groups just want to kill people and destabilize security. What is important is that the government does not take these threats serious. Our leaders unfortunately, always answer terrorist attacks by condemning statements or sometimes that the number of casualties is too much, use some rhetoric and strong slogans as President Ghani said on Monday that he would take “the revenge of each drop of blood” shed in the wedding attack. But after a few days, these empty slogans are forgotten and nothing happens in action.

As far as terrorist attacks claim more lives, government becomes more interested in the so-called ‘peace talks’, which emboldens more the enemies who interpret the requests as government’s weak point. The enemies have so far responded each government request with more bombs, rockets and other violence.

Efforts to encourage armed opposition to stop war through dialogue are good, but this is so costly and takes civilian lives. How many more innocent people should die to convince armed groups to join talks? How long should Afghans wait for this peace?

The government as responsible for people’s security has to respond attacks on civilians by attacking on the terrorist strongholds, not by begging them. Only tough response to such barbarian attacks will show government’s sympathy to the bereaved people and prevent the repetition of the dark days.

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