Uruzgan woman who lost husband, 6 sons to conflict
TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): A 60-year-old woman, Babo, has lost her husband and six sons to the conflict in central Uruzgan province. She says government officials are demanding bribe from her in return for issuing martyr cards of her sons.
Babo lives in Talani area of Tirinkot, the provincial capital, with her widowed daughter-in-law and 10 grandchildren.
She told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that her spouse was killed during the Taliban regime (1996-2001), leaving she and their six sons and two daughters behind.
She said her six sons, including four who were in police and the remaining two jobless, were killed by insurgents and unknown gunmen during years of the conflict.
Her eldest son, a policeman, was killed five years ago in a roadside bombing. Her second police son was killed in a Taliban attack on their post in southern Kandahar province.
Her fourth son and the youngest son, both policemen, were killed after a colleague turned his gun on them. The attacker had links with insurgents, Babo said.
While shedding tears, she said her two more sons who had no government job or enmity with anyone were killed by unknown assailants.
“When my two elder sons martyred, I tied the knot of their wives with my other sons, but the conflict claimed their lives as well and I was left with only widows and orphaned children.”
The Uruzgani woman said the killers of her sons were yet to be found. But the rogue policeman who killed her two young sons was released after spending two months in jail.
Babo said she had tried to get the insider attacker punished in a court of law but he was released in exchange for money.
She said she was living in a rented home with her one widowed daughter in law and 10 grandchildren.
She said the widow of her eldest son was some time ago forcibly taken away by her cousins and gave her into marriage to a man. The grey-haired Babo said: “They took away the widow but left behind her four sons and two daughters with me.”
She said her four police sons had been killed but the Uruzgan police headquarters had never assisted her and even she was being asked to grease palms in return for registering her sons in the martyrs’ book.
She also said the provincial labour, social affairs, martyrs and disabled department was yet to make martyr cards for her sons.
Babo said she had a job at the election commission last year. She would search female visitors. She had also for some time worked as guard at the home of former Uruzgan police chief Gen. Matiullah Khan.
Currently she works at vaccination section of the Uruzgan civil hospital and the salary she receives is spent on feeding her orphaned grandchildren.
Babo complained aid being provided by donors never reached the deserving families and such aid often ended up in pockets of those having connections.
She said attempts on her life had also been made. Six months ago a bomb planted at her home’s gate went off when she was leaving home for the job. She was slightly injured in the blast and other family members stayed unharmed.
Babo has lost hope. She has forgotten the killers of her husband and six sons. Now she does not demand their arrest and punishment. She lost faith in the judiciary after the killer of her youngest sons was released in exchange for money.
“Now my only concern is how to find bread for my widow daughter in law and the 10 orphaned children.”
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