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Govt reluctant to free 31 abducted passengers: Activists

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Large number of human rights activists alleged that the government has not been interested to rescue the 31 kidnapped passengers.

Labor and Development Party (LDP), accompanied by relatives of the hostages, in a press conference on Monday expressed concerns over snail-paced rescue efforts and termed the government initiated steps unsatisfactory.

Chief of the LDP, Zulfiqar Omid, who set up a protest camp near the parliament, claimed that if the government had been serious in freeing the passengers, now the kidnapped people would be in their homes with family members.

He said that leaders have different viewpoints about the rescue mission.

He pointed out that people and the activists launched different protests in various parts of the country, even Afghans living in foreign countries, but the high-ups were not accelerating the rescue efforts.

He warned of nationwide protest demonstrations if the authorities failed to free the kidnapped passengers. Omid said the government would be unable to cool down the agitation if the situation persists. “It will be a mass movement that would force the leaders to resign from their positions,” he claimed.

Thirty-one passengers belonging to Hazara ethnic minority were abducted two months ago from Shah Joy district of Zabul by armed masked men. Afghan security forces conducted multiple operations in different part of Zabul province, but failed to free the hostages.

There is no information about the location of the abductees and their health condition.

Liaqat Fazili, an activist, said that family members of the hostages are looking forward to hear news about their loved ones release, but as a matter of fact the kidnapped people are caught between a rock and a hard place.

He said that it is the duty of the government to protect the lives and properties of civilians, but the failed efforts of authorities proved that the government is not doing its job.

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