Aerial firing causing psychological problems to Khostis
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of the capital of southeastern Khost province say aerial firing at wedding ceremonies and other celebrations have put them at risk of psychological problems and urge the provincial authorities to take strong measures against the perpetrators.
Security forces sometimes announce firing into the air is banned, but residents of Khost City say the trend continues due to the government’s non-serious reaction.
Yousaf Shah, a resident of Khost City, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had feared a terrorist attack every time hearing celebratory firing.
He said in some events, government officials themselves resorted to celebratory firing and if the practice was not discouraged, it would become a strong culture and then it would be hard to control.
“When government forces resort to celebratory firing, it leaves no room for complaint against a common man.”
Another resident of Khost City, Mujahid, said if it was not possible for the government to prevent people from aerial firing in districts, it could do it in the provincial capital at least.
He said aerial firing not only terrorized people but had left dead and wounded many people, including children and women.
Mujahid said: “A few days ago, there was a heavy gunfire from noon until the afternoon; we thought it was a clash, but later it appeared it was a wedding.”
Civil society activist Haji Jamal Tanai said in the past aerial firing was not taken as serious as today because of the sensitivity of the situation. He said the celebratory firing had caused mental problems to people.
“Suicide bombings have increased, personal enmities exist, and targeted killings take place, so when we hear gunfire we think it is an attack, but it is not. It is either someone’s wedding, engagement or the birth of a baby boy.”
Tanai said police had the ability to prevent aerial firing but some police officials due to their incompetency, lack of interest and personal interest did not fulfill their responsibility in this regard.
He urged all the provincial authorities to be honest with their duty and serving the people.
Provincial council member Janmir Zazai said he had expressed concern over celebratory firing at various meetings with security officials and he would further insist on the matter in future advisory meetings with officials.
He said people should cooperate with security forces for a permanent solution and the media, religious scholars and tribal elders should play their role in highlighting the danger of aerial firing.
“The media and influential figures can play a key role. The practice can be banned through tribal structures.”
Khost deputy police chief Col. Jehangir Karamat told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Ministry of Interior had sent them a letter yesterday saying the police headquarters could not share information with the media.
Without speaking much, Karamat said the responsibility to share information with media had been taken by MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqi who should be contacted.
Khost governor’s spokesman Mubariz Mohammad Zadran acknowledged the issue of celebratory firing and said it was a matter of life and death for the people.
He said the issue had previously been also discussed and insisted upon at security meetings and he would again convey people’s concern to Governor Hukam Khan Habibi about the matter.
Earlier, the Ministry of Interior through a statement had declared aerial firing as outlawed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.