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Editorial: Nowhere to go

Fierce fighting between Afghan National Security Forces and the Islamic State fighters (also known as Daesh) is underway in Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province. As of Tuesday, around 37 Daesh terrorists, mostly from Pakistan, were killed and 44 others were injured. Fearing fall of the Kot district to Daesh, the National Unity Government (NUG) has launched biggest military operation against the multinational terrorist group. The previous and current government repeatedly denied presence of Daesh. If the authorities have accepted their failure and the reality, the terrorist group has not dared to challenge writ of the government and establish training centers and safe havens in Nangarhar and other provinces.

Our leaders feel shame in acknowledging their mistakes. The case of Daesh is not different. First its presence was denied and later it was thought as a minimum level risk which could be eliminated whenever the government wanted. When the terrorist group grew bigger, the authorities started blaming others. Now the security officials are worried about the security situation in Nangarhar. Dozens of families left the district in search of shelter. In this holy month of Ramadan, children and adults are forced to abandon their homes and live in relatives’ houses or in areas that lack all basic necessities, including food and potable water.

The security picture of not only Nangarhar is worrisome but people are also afraid in Kunduz, Baghlan, Ghazni, Wardak, Farhab, Herat, Uruzgan, Nimroz, Kunar, Badakhshan, Nuristan, Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Abduction of passengers on major highways is a question mark before performance of the NUG and security officials who repeatedly claimed about improved law and order situation. In Kunduz, the Taliban had earned name for kidnapping scores of passengers. As of Tuesday, they killed six captives in the volatile province. The police chief of Kunduz claimed that it was retaliation to the killing of the Taliban commander in the US drone strike in Chahardara district.

A police chief should not give such a statement because it shows failure of the whole police department which had repeatedly scored zero—on September 28, 2015 when the Taliban seized control of the Kunduz city, and abduction of tens of passengers on the major highway, and killing of the passengers. Taliban militants are killed in scores on daily basis as evident from the statements of the defense and interior ministries. Can we say that the insurgents should kill every civilian in retaliation and will it be fair? The authorities cannot blanket their failures through such derogatory statements. They should focus on improving their performance. The first thing comes first. They should stop lying to the nation.

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