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Editorial: Protection of civilians, responsibility of all sides

In an effort to understand what is exactly happening to the Doha talks and why has the violence surged despite the call for de-escalation at a time when the civilian casualties hit the highest point, responsibility utterly lays to the government to enlighten citizens on the process. The government and the Trump administration, who signed a peace deal with the Taliban, must come to the fore and convince the Taliban to stop violence, causing civilian deaths. The US has more obligations to do so. More than 261 civilians have been killed in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan in the past less than two months. The Taliban carried 2,000 attacks in a 50-day period. Irrevocably, civilian casualties are inevitable in armed conflict. But the peace talks began in Qatar, with a hope to end the conflict or at least to have less violent incidents. However, the country is seeing a rapid surge in insurgent attacks that continue to take heavy toll on innocent civilians, who want peace, only peace and have strongly supported the ongoing peace process. It’s important that all sides distinguish between civilians and military objectives, and must prohibit attacks that are expected to result in excessive killing and injuring of civilians. Afghan government and Taliban bear the responsibility to take appropriate prevention and response measures. All the operations must be balanced with the principles of humanity. Areas with more population must not be attacked. The opposite side might not have the skill not to harm civilians in the fog of war as only leverage on table of talks, but it could lessen violence based on the agreement with the US. The prospects of a deal were to lower down attacks, which the Taliban are not obeying. Uncertainty surrounding the future of onset negotiations as clash of words between Taliban and Americans already went on air. Kabul and Taliban negotiators also failed to iron out differences and start the intra-Afghan talks. It’s a totally mess-up, and the Afghan leaders don’t accept any sort of deal between US and Pakistan over Afghanistan through the lens of current peace talks. Proxies are everywhere – like proxy war, now we seem to have proxy peace, which would not last long. The Afghan people need to be informed of all open and secret discussions or even deals because it’s their right to decide on their fate, not the foreigners. These are civilians who are carrying the burden of this war, and they should be aware of all the process. Taliban violence remains high and their use of indiscriminate IEDs harming civilians at high stake. All sides have to redouble efforts to protect civilians.

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