Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Condemning the Attack on AUAF

It is really unfortunate that the death toll from the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) attack in Kabul has reached to 16, while another 53 other people are reported to be wounded.
Public health ministry officials confirmed on Thursday afternoon that among those killed were eight students, including two females, three Crisis Response Unit (CRU) members, two security guards, two university professors and one civilian from the adjoining school where the initial car bomb was detonated.
"Five females are among the 19 wounded that have been brought to the emergency hospital. Some of the wounded are in serious condition and one of them died," said Dr Dejan Panic, program director for the emergency hospital.
The attack was really cowardly and it has been condemned widely; however, Taliban insurgents have always carried out such atrocities against the poor civilians and particularly against the educational institutions and media outlets. They have always opposed modern education and through different tactics have always strived to discourage the youth from pursuing modern education. They, in fact, fear that if Afghan youth continue their pursuit of modern education, and make strides in that regard, their way of thinking and living would be considered obsolete and they would automatically lose their worth and importance.
To discourage modern education, they have bombarded the schools, targeted the teachers, thrown acid on school-going girls and even poisoned them in different ways. However, they have not been successful in shattering the will and determination of Afghan youth, particularly of the girls, and they have kept on making new achievements in this regard.
American University of Afghanistan is, undoubtedly, the best university in the country and it is offering quality education to Afghan students who can compete internationally after completing their education from this institution. Currently, most of the teachers and staff members, and almost all the students are Afghans and they have been trying to shoulder the responsibilities of the institutions themselves so that they are ready to develop it further once they stand on their own.
Therefore, any claim of the insurgents that they have targeted a foreign institute is totally incorrect and shows nothing else except their hatred for education and students.
Moreover, it is also important to note that the claims of Taliban that they would not attack the civilians are nothing except eyewash. Statistics in recent times have revealed that most of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan have been because of the insurgents. The insurgents are not fighting a holy war for safeguarding religion; rather they seem thirsty for filthy power, which they want to gain for political purposes. And they are going to use that for the further annihilation of the common people, not their betterment and safety.
It is really important that Afghan government, along with other stakeholders must get more serious to fight terrorism and insurgency. There have been worldwide condemnation by different countries and institutions. UNAMA condemned the attack in the severest terms and Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Acting Head of Mission said in a statement, “An attack deliberately targeting an educational facility, during evening classes for university students, is an atrocity and those responsible must be held accountable… The country’s youth are a source of pride and bring real hope for a better future. I am hopeful that violence will not discourage their desire for continued learning and attaining the knowledge and skills critical to Afghanistan’s prosperity.”
It is really imperative that Afghan youth must not be discouraged and they should continue their pursuit of modern education. It is only education that can promise them a better and peaceful future; otherwise, following other means would lead them towards another civil war and more bloodshed.
United States, Ambassador to Kabul, P. Michael McKinley, condemned the attached and offered his heartfelt condolences to friends and families of those killed and wounded in the incident. He said in a statement, "It was a tragic evening for the students, for the faculty, a tragic evening for the brave service people of NDS and the Afghan National Police who went to assist and some of whom died in the effort to rescue students in the faculty who stuck in the buildings, and a tragic night for all of us who believe education is future for Afghanistan.”
Similarly, European Union, Pakistan and India also condemned the attack strongly and called the attack an atrocity against the civilians and particularly against the students.
Though these condemnations show the concern of different countries and institutions about the situation in Afghanistan, they are not enough to fight the growing terrorism and insecurity in the country. These countries must make sure that they provide practical and tangible support to Afghan government so that it is able to fight the increasing terrorism. At the same time, Afghan government authorities and the security forces must make all the possible efforts to stand strong against the insurgency and must let others know that they are really serious about their responsibilities and they are worthy of support and assistance.