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Kabul gathering demands halt to civilian casualties

Kabul gathering demands halt to civilian casualties

Mar 25, 2019 - 16:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Speakers at a gathering in Kabul on Monday said airstrikes and night raids often resulted in civilian casualties, which had widened the existing gap between the government and the masses.

A number of civil societyinfo-icon activists and tribal elders attended the gathering titled “Peace, ongoing brutality, civilian casualties, targeted killings and irresponsible government”.

Most of the participants believed civilian casualties had significantly increased over the past six months.

Dr. Ziauddin Kamal, a tribal elder from Maidan Wardak province, said people often raised their voices to ask local and foreign forces to take care of civilians while conducting operations.

However, people’s voices were ignored and the people of Maidan Wardak often fell victims to airstrikes and night raids, he added.

“The enemy will behave like enemy but we want to ask the government about its behavior. Most of airstrikes and night raids by local forces had resulted in the killing of civilians,” he said.

He said they would not accept more civilian deaths which he said should be stopped because the practice was widening the gap between the government and the masses.

He asked the government to be careful while conducting raids and take care not to kill civilians for the sake of one Talibaninfo-icon fighter.

Political affairs expert Nazar Mohammad Mutmain said the number of civilians being killed had surged.

He said the US claimed it was trying to end the ongoing war and would withdraw its forces if peace was established, but some Afghans were still interested in the war and in the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Without going into details, he said some individuals inside the government were against peace while 90 percent of the people of Afghanistan wanted peace.

About the upcoming meeting between Afghan politicians and the Taliban, Motmain said the opportunity should not be wasted and urged the government and the people of Afghanistan to get maximum advantage of the opportunity.

Faiz Mohammad Zalan, another political activist, termed the unity government as an irresponsible one and said over half a million people migrated from Afghanistan during the National Unity Government.

He also referred to some individuals within the government who he said were trying to sabotage the peace process.

He said the continuation of civilian casualties in airstrikes and night raids strengthened the Taliban and swelled their ranks.

Khairullah Shinwari, a civil society activist referring to the killing of former Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon member in Kandahar province, said why individuals who wanted peace, withdrawal of foreign forces, ban on airstrikes and night raids were being killed.

“We are surprised why the government is against peace and favour the continuation of war,” he questioned.



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