Embrace peace, conflict-affected families ask warring parties
KABUL (Pajhwok): Families of victims of two deadly attacks in Yahyakhel and Argon districts of southeastern Paktika province have urged all warring sides to embrace peace and quit fighting in the best interest of the teeming masses.
Nearly two years back, at least 107 civilians were killed and a large number of others wounded in a massive car bomb attack in Argon district during the month of Ramadan. The dead included four sons of a man named Akbar Khan.
“I owned a tyre shop in the district bazaar, where my four sons were helping me in,” Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News. All his four sons, two of them married, were killed. Two of his daughters-in-law were widowed and five grandchildren orphaned.
He sobbingly said: “With the loss of my sons, my family has been devastated and grandchildren orphaned. Since the irreparable loss, we haven’t sensed even a moment of joy. A sense of deep anguish has been haunting our home,”
Three days after the incident, the man recalled, his wife asked him to wake up for Sehri (predawn meal). “She no longer had to awakenher sons -- a situation that pained us a lot. Together we cried a great deal,” Khan said.
After that night, none of them woke up for Sehri for the rest of Ramadan.Khan called the combatants to say not to war and go for peace. Ordinary folks were the worst-hit by the conflict, he maintained, saying the innocent people richly deserved a break from violence.
Haidar Khan, another resident of the district, lost five members of his family to the Argon attack.“My son, two grandchildren and two brothers-in-lawwere killed in the brutal attack,” he said, adding the victims were young people who he could not forgot.
He urged government forces and rebels not to destroy their own country for the pleasure of foreigners and choose a peaceful path.
In September 2014, 63 people were killed and more than 90 others injured in a suicide attack on volleyball players in Yahyakhel district.Zaro, who lost her husband and sole son, commented the deathshad left her with no purpose in life. “It will be good if God takes my life too,” observedthe woman, who has been forced into begging.
A tribal elder from Yahyakhel, Haji Janan, acknowledged the attack had anguished many residents of the area. A certain group of people in Afghanistan was following instructions of foreigners to kill innocent people, he regretted.
“The war should be stopped forthwith. Please, don’t kill your brothers to please others,” the elder asked the warring parties. “All of should choose peace over war for a happy life,” he remarked, saying the conflict was exacting a high price.
The victims’ families said the government had earlier promised them aid, a commitment that is yet to be honoured. Soon after the incidents,an amount of 100,000 afghanis was paid to each martyr’s family and 50,000 afghanis to relatives to every injured individual. Nothing was done after that.
However, Governor Elyas Wahdatmet with the victims’ families on Saturday.He would share their problems with the central government.The affected families were previously given aid and they would receive more in the near future, he promised.
Local officials say no one has so far been detained in connection with the attacks.No grouphas claimed responsibility for the assaults.
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