Violent rallies linked to unawareness about rules
KABUL (PAN): Some political analysts believe protests in Afghanistan go violent due to lack of awareness among the people about the rules of demonstrations, in addition to an ill-equipped and unprofessional police force.
Two US soldiers and an Afghan policeman were among 30 people killed and 250 others injured over the past five days of nationwide protests against the alleged burning of the Quran by foreign troops.
“Afghans don’t pay attention to the rules of demonstrations and, therefore, they resort to violence and cause damage to public property and attack security forces,” a military analyst, Gen. Abdul Hadi Khalid, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said in recent protests, the participants attacked police who had played no role in desecration of the holy book. The policemen just did their duty to maintain order, he added.
“First of all, protestors are responsible for being in control of demonstrations and preventing it from turning violent. However, they don’t care about discharging this responsibility,” the expert remarked.
He continued Afghan police had not been trained professionally to control or deal with violent rallies and lacked modern equipment. The analyst asked security forces should exercise patience and use weapons as the last resort to quell mobs.
Another analyst, Gen. Abdul Wahid Taqat, suggested instead of firing at protestors, security personnel should use tear gas, rubber bullets and spraying water to disperse crowds.
“Police should also seek assistance from other law-enforcement agencies in preventing militants from penetrating demonstrations,” he said.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Ghulam Siddique acknowledged police lacked professional training on how to deal with protestors. However, he said police had been able to prevent life losses during recent demonstrations.
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