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Editorial: Missing troops

There are always good and the bad people in a society, country and an institute. They are judged by their actions. However, actions of a few affect the whole institute or society. Thus, security forces are no exception. As the law enforcement agencies have too many responsibilities to fulfill and enforce the laws, therefore, every action should be taken after meticulous consideration. In every country on this planet, public trust their militaries more than any other institute. They have earned the respect and trust because they remain committed to defend the country at the cost of their blood. Their sacrifices and oath make them different.

Afghan security forces are not different than others. But sadly, there are a bunch of people in the uniform who are distorting image of their institutes. They go missing when they are sent for advanced trainings to foreign countries, particularly the United States. In less than two years, nearly 44 Afghan troops have gone missing in the US. They were sent so they could return and contribute to security and help the country to deal with existing and potential security challenges. The love for foreign land than motherland will not rebuild Afghanistan. Abandoning the country when at war has become a mindset.  Who will defend and rebuild the country if everyone feels insecure and tired? Why we are leaving our job to the foreigners?

To deal with the challenge by discouraging this trend, the government must investigate about links of those soldiers to the key officials in military. It is important to know that whether they were relatives of those who are working on key positions. It will also determine that they were sent for training because of nepotism.

Training of soldiers and officers in military academies or educational exchange is not a new practice. In other countries, hundreds of military and police officers travel abroad for basic and advanced training courses. However, they do not go missing because they are true to their oath that they would protect their country. Once the training is complete, they return. Unfortunately, our soldiers prefer living abroad than defending the country; otherwise, they have not gone missing. At least they should calculate the cost of their training by donor countries and efforts of their military trainers in Afghanistan and abroad. The chances of acceptance of their asylum applications are minimal as they wore uniform and swore to fight enemies of the country. They cannot mention insecurity as a reason that forced them to seek asylum. Moreover, they went legally. Therefore, they would likely be sent back.

Missing of the troops at such a critical juncture has earned a bad image not only for the country but also for Afghan security forces. The number of the missing soldiers is less than one percent when compared to the total number. Yet, the anti-Afghan elements have a news to quote and say that insecurity is the product of Afghan security forces’ inability to perform their duty.

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