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Editorial: Violence amidst peace process

Amidst United States and other stake holders efforts for what it called resolution to conflict through peaceful and negotiated process, worst kind of violence is in progress throughout war devastated motherland, which could be considered a big question mark before White House. A recent media report reveal that more than 11,000 civilians were killed and injured in the past Afghan year (2018-2019), explaining a 19 percent increase compared to the same period of time in the year before. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission released a report, that says over 3,000 civilians were killed and 8,000 more injured in the past Afghan year, with 68 percent of the victims men, eight per cent women and 21 per cent children. HRC director, Seema Samar, said that women casualties soared up to 16 percent, that she said show that war had been widened in the residential areas, particularly residential houses. According to report worst kind of violence registered during the October last year parliamentary elections. Nearly 700 people were killed when the opposition resistance launched massive attacks to prevent election turnout on a single day throughout Afghanistan, and Taliban claimed responsibility for all that violence occurred mostly in the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul and Uruzgan, which was recorded as 20 percent. The commission has held the Taliban responsible for 53 percent of the casualties, pro-government and foreign troops responsible for 12 percent each, while it was not clear that who was responsible for the remaining of 22 percent casualties. It also informed that the Islamic States (IS) militants, called Daaesh- terrorist group which emerged in the country in early 2015, is responsible for killing and injuring of 1,500 civilians in the past year in the provinces of Kabul, Paktia, Ghor, Jawzjan and Nangarhar. Though like of past the commission has repeated its call before the government in Kabul to realise its responsibility but it has attached great hopes with the US Special Envoy to help in combating of increasing violent acts and civilian casualties. No one is in a position to neglect the role of US, especially its envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad to materialize the long standing dreams of war stricken countrymen who now unanimously wants peace. Dr. Khalilzad needs to convince the two sides, especially Taliban leaders to declare ceasefire. Similarly, the HRC report confirmed maximum casualties on elections day in previous October, therefore, Unity government needs to re-visit its decision of Presidential polls. Whatever might be results and outcomes of Presidential elections but it could be considered nothing else but a futile exercise like of October 2018 Parliamentary elections. Instead of misusing energies and resources on presidential elections, government must focus all of its attentions on peace efforts. Unless and until of reconciliation, return of peace and declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, no one could sure about return of peace and ending of violence in Afghanistan.

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