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Editorial: Stop targeting civil services

Going through more than 40 years of relentless war, the Afghans are in need of humanitarian services almost more than any other nation on the surface of this planet. Based on human rights watchdog’s findings about two million Afghan children are struggling with extreme starvation and lack of healthcare systems. With the violence spilling over across the country, the national and international humanitarian services are facing hurdles to provide health, logistic and food services for the people who are deprived of access to essential materials mostly living in the rural areas. But what is the prime reason for lack of such essential services in the country – is the ongoing harsh violence that pushed back the humanitarian organizations from providing services in the far parts of the country. The humanitarian services have been targeted across the country in a variety of ways by the militant groups or even by local powerful individuals. On Tuesday morning, three female polio vaccinators lost their precious lives in two separate attacks carried out by a number of unidentified gunmen in Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province. The attack on the polio vaccinator was conducted a day after the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reported 56 polio type-1 and 310 polio new-type cases in Afghanistan in 2020, terming it as the highest number of cases during the last nine years in the country. Afghanistan followed by Pakistan is the only two countries in the world where polio still remains a huge challenge, threatening the lives of children under age five. It is very embarrassing that the government failed to protect the humanitarian services. The Taliban, who are blamed for attacks on the human rights activists and professional figures in the country, also remained calm and didn’t express any remarks regarding the attack. However, the group denied allowing the implementation of polio vaccination from home-to-home in the areas under their control, suggesting that the campaign should be conducted via mosques. Targeting employees who provide humanitarian support for the people is a cruel and cowardly act. The individuals or groups involved in such attacks obviously don’t seek the welfare of the Afghans. The perpetrators of the attacks on health employees and humanitarians’ organizations’ members should be held accountable and rewarded severe punishment. The holy Islam religion strongly emphasizes on solidarity and humanity. We should always support humanitarians’ services in our country. Those who seek attacking the humanitarian service members should understand that these service members are taking high risks just to help the poor people in other world they are considered as white angels, who help people overcome their problems, and therefore stop attacking targeting human services.

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