Gul Bashra: Taliban, Americans killed my 10 relatives
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): An old woman, who lost her spouse among 10 family members to the conflict, is currently living with her three widowed daughters in law and grandchildren in a ruined house in Panjwai district of southern Kandahar province.
Gul Bashra, 60, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the war snatched all men from her family. “Here in Afghanistan, a woman’s and her children’s lives are dependent on their father. If the father is no more, you can imagine the plight of the family.”
She said miseries gripped her life after her husband was killed during a clash between militants and police a few years ago.
“My husband was working in his fields when the clash broke out and he was caught in the crossfire and killed.”
At that time, she said, they were living in Zang Abad village of Panjwai district. She said her spouse tried to escape to stay alive for his family, but failed.
After his death, she pinned all her hopes on her young son who was a hepatitis patient. However, her ailing son’s condition deteriorated after the family failed to afford his treatment due to extreme poverty and finally he died of the disease, Gul Bashra recalled, while shedding tears.
“I knocked at every door to collect money for son’s treatment, but it was our destiny that he died. His death broke my back and the burden of his young wife fell on my shoulders.”
As she said this she fell in deep thoughts, but soon started narrating a painful story in which her eight family members and relatives were killed.
“The memories of my husband and son deaths were fresh when we came across a big tragedy. One night, Taliban opened fire at American forces near our homes in Zang Abad village. The Taliban fled but later jets arrived and stared bombing the village. Our eight people who were asleep got killed in the bombardment.”
The airstrike widowed another two women in Gul Bashra’s family. She is now the head of the family consisting of widowed women and their children.
“The war and poverty gave me a painful life. I beg to God to take my life, I will be happy if my life is taken.”
No one had supported the family despite what it bore and Gul Bashra said they were left with no option but to start begging.
Concerned about the future of her grandchildren, Gul Bashra said she could not afford to provide two times meals to her family and education and other such needs were beyond her thinking.
When her story was shared with provincial government officials, they promised to assist the family.
Panjwai district chief Fazl Mohammad Ishaqzai said the government had always tried to compensate war victims. He said well off people would be encouraged to assist Gul Bashra’s family.
The governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, said the ongoing conflict had destroyed the lives of so many people whose problems and need required huge resources to be mitigated.
He said the provincial administration would try to support Gul Bashra’s family through aid giving agencies.
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