A bomb-blinded policeman feels left in the lurch
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A policeman, blinded in both eyes during a roadside bombing during an operation with his both eyes were blinded in southern Helmand province, complains he has been left in the lurch after being incapacitated.
“When I was perfect, I was a servant of the people. But now I’m treated like a burden on society,” whined Barkatullah Sarshar, 24, who was injured a year ago in Sangin district.
He joined the police force about four years ago in Nad Ali district and took part in counterinsurgency operations in Greshk, Sangin, Khanshin, Marja and other districts of the province.
“During an operation in Sangin, I was going to collect the bodies of my colleagues when a roadside bomb hit an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle.
“I was also injured in the blast because I was passing through the area at the time. After that I could not see the world,” Sarshar told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He visited doctors in Afghanistan and India, but they could not treat him. “Indian doctors told me there is a possibility of my left eye regaining its sight, but it will need time.”
When he tried to go to India for a second time, he sought assistance from the Interior Ministry and the police headquarters. The provincial police chief gave him only 50,000 afghanis.
The commander also pledged him a residential plot and promotion, but the promise is yet to be kept.
“When in good health, the provincial police chief would not conduct operations in my absence and I would be in the front line, but now no one bothers inquiring after me.”
Having defused hundreds of landmines, he said: “There are hundreds of policemen with disabilities. Their children and wives are begging in cities, but I still hope for regaining my eyesight.”
The ex-policeman is more worries about his aged father, who is extremely shocked by what has happened to youngest son, than the loss of his eyesight and subsequent woes.
Sarshar easily addressed the problems of his 19-member family when he was healthy. “But now I’m a drag on their resources,” the man remarked.
“When I was fit, I played football, but now I can’t. I can only train my team now,” he said, urging the government to provide him treatment facilities in India.
Bismillah Jan, Sarshar’s father, said: “I have four sons. Sarshar is the youngest one. My family was happy with him, but now it pains me looking at my blind son.”
“Deeply moved by his predicament, I avoid seeing my son. I cannot treat him or solve his problems,” he said, asking the government to help him treat his blind son.
Ahmadullah, a friend of the disabled cop, said all colleagues were shocked by Sarshar’s plight. He acknowledged Sarshar had helped many relatives and friends.
His friends had shared the problem with the departments concerned, but no one helped him, Ahmadullah regretted.
Helmand police spokesman, Lt. Col. Majid Khan, told Pajhwok helping the martyrs’ relatives and the injured people was the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior.
“Sarshar hasn’t received any help so far because of neglect from officials of the time,” he alleged, asking the injured policeman to approach the police headquarters to resolve his problem.
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