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Editorial: Celebration at what cost

After our National Cricket Team defeated Scotland in the Twenty-20 World Cup match in India, many cricket fans in Nangarhar and Khost resorted to aerial firing. The victory was supposed to bring happiness but the wild fans changed the whole concept that day as two children were killed. The families of victims are going through immense pain. They had no idea that stray bullets would carry the message of death for their beloved ones. A group of civilians overwhelmed by the smell of gunpowder and sounds of gunfire had killed two people. Blood of the children are on their hands. It was not a celebration. It was a crime. Killing someone is terrorism. What this group of fans did that day in Nangarhar was a show of violence. The wild celebration has cost two innocent lives.

The national cricket team players are also ashamed of such fans because they condemn aerial firing in strongest possible terms. They know that a particular group of people are not celebrating the victory but they are causing panic and killing people. They do not want to be part of this blood game. They want to bring smile on the hopeless faces. If costs someone’s life, they do not want it. This is the reason that captain of the national cricket team appealed to the nation to change the way of celebration. Condemning the aerial firing and killing of children, Asghar Stanikzai said that people should show maturity. According to him celebrating the win with aerial firing is troubling the nation, including the players. He said that the news of the child who was hit by a stray bullet caused pain and unhappiness. The mature and aggrieved captain also referred to the three decades of violence that claimed lives of thousands of known and unknown people.

The problem of aerial firing is social and psychological rather than political. Therefore, the responsibility to deal with this serious issue falls on the shoulder of religious scholars, teachers, elders, media and intellectuals. It is responsibility of the educated segments of the society to prevent such elements. Seeking happiness in bullets is totally an uncivilized way of celebration. It shows how violent we are despite seeing people losing children, brothers, sisters, parents and friends in the war against terrorism. On one hand we condemn killing of a friend or relative by militants but on the other hand we do the same. What makes us different from the militants? Perhaps, the motive but the end result is the same. We are acting like militants if we start aerial firing over winning cricket or football matches. If there is no difference between the two then the government should be allowed to launch clearance operation against the two different groups of people with same mindset.



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