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Surge in abduction

Kidnappings have been on the rise. Well off people scantly dare to roam freely outside their homes. The richest ones are being accompanied by their legions giving little chance to kidnapers to kidnap them. The government looks just an onlooker. Joblessness is soaring. Security situation is deteriorating. And there is all talk and talk about peace talks. None knows what will happen. Will peace talks succeed? Or political rhetoric would be presented as if achieved results? Amid this chaotic situation, the Deputy CEO of the National Unity Government, Mohaqiq tells the nation that the Taliban have been contacted to free the kidnapped passengers. Just contacted? Not released? Gunmen kidnapped as many as 30 people (Hazaras) en route to Kabul from Herat. They were intercepted in the Shah Joi district of southern Zabul province, last month. Since then none knows about their whereabouts and fate. The Taliban deny their involvement in the kidnap of the passengers. The problem is our political elites are locked in their political wrangling over highest government slots and ministries. And when they are personally well-off, besotted with orgies of life then who is left there on the ground to take care of this troubled people that has been grinding in the unending series of troubles. What we see in terms of death and destruction is partly the outcome of international intrigues while at the same time the fallout of our elite’s tomfooleries. Militancy is plaguing. Civilians, policemen and troops are being killed ruthlessly. Corruption is eating up the foundations of almost all the government institutions.

Poppy cultivation, drug production and drug addiction are all time high. Inflation has already hamstrung consumers’ backbone. Back in 2014, there were 20 major incidents of kidnappings. Many of the kidnapped were set free after the kidnappers received huge ransoms. Those kidnapped included government officials, businessmen, private companies’ staffers and affluent civilians. Those killed after being kidnapped included a minor girl, who had been kidnapped from a school in Jalalabad. Two other children were kidnapped near a Hindu temple and later found dead. A son of a businessman was found dead after being abducted on the Torkham-Jalalabad highway. Workers of industrial companies and traders have had observed protest demonstrations against the rise in kidnappings in western Herat province. There is too much to weep over and little to make us hopeful. But despite that our national confidence is intact. This is our strength and it shouldn’t be sagged. However, citizens of the country, particularly the youth should mount pressure on the government. It is not the time for political wrangling but for unity and expediency. Prolonging the schism means prolonging the status quo—militancy, unemployment, inequitable distribution of wealth, poor-rich standoff, and illiteracy. Militancy and kidnappings have much in common. Militants are said to be involved in kidnappings. When the nation is looking forward impatiently for peace talks, security development and national economic growth, the government should try to live up to the expectations. Just telling the nation that it has contacted the Taliban regarding the release of the 31 passengers is nothing but mere lip service.

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