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Editorial: Change for change

Several innocent people lost their lives on Monday and scores were injured when the militants unleashed a new wave of terrorism and bloodshed. As many as 23 people were killed in Kabul and Badakhshan. Forced by poverty to work in Afghanistan, twelve Nepali security guards were among the killed. They were working for the Canadian security firm. A suicide bomber targeted the Nepali guards who were on board a minibus. In the second attack on the same day in the capital city, the insurgents planted a magnetic bomb on vehicle of a lawmaker, Ataullah Faizani. One was killed and six others were injured, including the MP. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the two attacks. The Islamic State, popular as Daesh, has also claimed responsibility for killing the Nepali citizens. However, authenticity of the claims could not be verified by the law enforcement agencies.

The bloodbath did not end here as a motorcycle bomb blast in a crowded bazaar in Badakhshan province left 10 people killed and 40 injured. Five children were among the killed. In the holy month of Ramadan, Afghans were hoping that the local and foreign militant groups would cease fighting and shedding of blood. But, they have no respect for human lives and the holy month or Islamic teachings. They take advantage of every opportunity to kill as many people as they can. The Taliban and Daesh as well as their affiliates are losing their baseless and misguided war on moral front if they have not lost it yet on the military front. Abduction of passengers and truck drivers in Greshk district of southern Helmand province and Kunduz is a clear sign that the Taliban have lost. Therefore, they have resorted to hijacking of commercial vehicles, kidnapping and killing of passengers.

The insurgent groups find it easy to abduct unarmed civilians than fighting security forces in the battlefield. Afghan military and police force have broken the backbone of major militant organizations. This is the reason that the fear of being completely eliminated is keeping these terror outfits away from the frontlines, and close to the highways.

Amid the fears of brutal killings and kidnappings, the Wolesi Jirga has approved the nominees for the top slots of defense ministry and the National Directorate of Security (NDS). Abdullah Habibi has taken charge as the country’s defense minister. Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, who served at different posts, has succeeded in securing confidence of the parliament for the position of spymaster. The nation is pinning high hopes on the new defense minister and chief of the NDS. Therefore, they shall leave no stone unturned to eliminate the insurgents and secure the highways, markets, schools, hospitals and other public places. The change in leadership should translate as positive change in the lives of common people. If the two failed to improve security then the change in leadership would be symbolic.

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