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Editorial: Strength and strategies

After formation of the unity government, most of women and girls hoped that their rights would be protected as the leaders assured them of neutralizing threats that barred them from exercising fundamental human and constitutional rights. Fragile security situation in the country is exposing the strength and strategies of the leaders, who promised to defeat anti-state elements to help women. They vowed to provide relief to women who are facing different types of violence on daily basis. It was expected that the security situation will improve. However, it proved no more than an illusion dragging the depressed womenfolk away from ground realities.

Mysterious silence of government over crimes committed by officials, warlords and tribal elders has emboldened the criminals. The flawed strategies are costing lives of people, especially women, in different parts of the country. On Sunday night, gunmen beheaded a woman in northern Sar-e-Pul province. Sakina, a 30-year old, was beheaded in the provincial capital. Director of Women’s Affairs in the province alleged the Taliban of beheading the woman after verbal clash. Nasima Arezoo, the director, claimed that the village is under control of the insurgents. The Taliban rejected the allegation. The militant group said that “irresponsible gunmen” beheaded Sakina.

No one can justify killing of an innocent person. Beheading of Sakina is an inhumane act. Her killing is exposing the corrupt system and failed government. If the provincial directorate of women’s affairs is right in its claim, even then the government should be slammed for its inattention towards security situation in capital of Sar-e-Pul province. How can militants control areas in the provincial capital? Why the provincial government has not launched operation against the insurgents if Taliban control a village that is not far from the governor’s office? How can ill-trained and poorly equipped Taliban fighters control areas in provincial capitals? It is beyond comprehension. Presence of miscreants in the provincial capital gives birth to serious questions that the government should answer as the leaders are accountable.

There is no denying to the stark reality that Afghan government is caught between devil and the deep blue see as it had failed to meet public expectations. What if the insurgents did not behead Sakina? Top government officials have also committed serious crimes. They have abducted and raped men and women but the Presidential Palace has not taken any action against them, so far. It is also an injustice to criticize one group for committing a crime and turn a blind eye to another group because of influence and immunity the latter enjoy. If the crimes, committed by state officials, were reported and made public, these will not be encouraging. The government is claiming improved justice system in the country but the ground events suggest otherwise.

Only statements will not placate the situation. Therefore, there is need for action against career criminals no matter to which tribe or group they belong.

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