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Editorial: Saviors in danger

Numerous non-profit organizations are working in Afghanistan to help the war-hit nation in this turbulent time. Some of the local non-governmental organizations may have earned bad reputation for wasting donors’ money on unproductive seminars and workshops, but several others are doing good job. One cannot blame all for the mistakes of a few. Likewise, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are actively helping the Afghan people in different parts of the country. Employees of these INGOs are risking their lives to reach to the vulnerable people and support them in whatever way possible. When the top officials cannot visit remote and insecure areas due to uncertain security situation, these global humanitarian organizations are making every effort to save lives of Afghan masses by helping them. They are saviors for the common people.

However, their efforts are at stake and their lives are in danger because they are not getting the required police protection. On Thursday, officials reported kidnapping of a female foreign staffer of the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACCAR). She was visiting DACCAR’s office in Jalalabad, capital city of Nangarhar province, when kidnapped by unknown men wearing military uniform. Her fate is uncertain because the government has the history of being failed on multiple occasions to recover the kidnapped foreigners. Most of them were released after mediation of the tribal elders or when their organizations or governments paid huge ransom. There might be some success cases on part of the authorities, but the overall ratio is unsatisfactory.

Unfortunately, Afghan officials present excuses rather than working hard to secure release of the abductees. On Thursday, the spokesman for Nangarhar governor said that the DACCAR’s female employee has not informed the local security officials before her visit to the provincial capital. His statement is a shock for many because it is not responsibility of the people to inform police about their visits. It is duty of the security officials to improve law and order situation and deal with the anti-state and anti-social elements. If people started keep informing officials about their visits, there will be long queue of people before every police station. Second, it is failure of the provincial government to stop people from getting military uniform easily. Third, kidnapping of a foreign national in the provincial capital underlines capability of the local authorities.

Therefore, such statements are not worth buying. The law enforcement agencies shall focus on their job which is protecting lives and properties of people, both locals and foreigners. The deteriorating security situation has forced many INGOs to stop their activities or limit it to a few cities. Thus, safe release of the hostage is imperative to keep trust of these organizations over the Afghan government intact.

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