Combating terrorism, Afghan soldiers paid high sacrifices and triggered an outpouring of national grief. Warring factions, mainly the Taliban guerilla fighters, are widely involved in war crime and violated the humanitarian law. They sought to spill the blood of both combatants and non-combatants without an iota of humanity. Their warped mind filled them with a strong sense of atrocity. Their cruel practices reveal their ideology which suggests accepting their dogma or die.
The escalated militancy, within the last two years, inflicted heavy casualties upon Afghan soldiers and civilians which shattered the hope of the public for a civil society in which individuals could exercise their rights and liberty without fear. No wonder, the democratic discourse and human rights and freedoms were hotly debated in the post-Taliban administration and filled the air with hope and optimism. Afghan nation dreamed of breathing a sigh of relief in a violence-free society after the downfall of the Taliban’s dictatorial regime. The establishment of democratic government liberated women from restrictions imposed by the Taliban. Women took active part in social and political issues. For instance, Masouda Jalal was the first female presidential candidate; Habiba Sarabi became the first female provincial governor (2005-2013) and Auzra Jafari became the first female mayor (2008-2013) in Afghanistan which was a milestone in the country’s history. A number of women became members of parliament through elections.
The establishment of Afghanistan’s Constitution based on democratic views boosted the public confidence for a peaceful country. The Constitution, which is unique in the country’s history, entails equal rights for men and women and denies discriminating one on the basis of their sex, race, color or creed. Article 22 states, “Any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law.”
Considering these facts, Afghan nation believed to taste the fruition of democracy and live their utopia, in which there were no violence and bloodshed. They flocked to ballot boxes to elect their president and representatives. In other words, the colorful queues of men and women who were waiting impatiently to cast their votes for changing their society and history were really heartening.
To the nation’s unmitigated chagrin, insurgency resurfaced and some of the voters’ fingers were cut by the Taliban fighters. The Taliban’s ragtag militants were reorganized to carry out attacks against Afghan government. They spread fear and disappointment through spilling the blood of men, women and children wherever they could. Women’s freedoms were curtailed and people’s rights and dignity were trampled upon in one way or another. Life turned cheap. Members of Parliament and other political figures, including men and women, were ambushed by the militants, which undermined democracy.
In addition to insurgency, corruption in the government’s apparatus also hampered democracy and law enforcement. Some high-ranking officials broke the law with impunity. The judicial system failed to parallel to the legislative power. On the other hand, tribal leaders and the Taliban put self-styled law in practice in the Taliban dominated areas such as conducting desert court and flagellating the women who had transgress the tribal traditions.
However, terrorism remained the main challenge for both the former and the present governments. The Taliban intensified their attacks with the establishment of the National Unity Government (NUG). Last year, Afghan nation left a deadly year behind. As a result, the UN reported that war had caused more than 8,000 civilian casualties, including nearly 2,600 deaths, in the first nine months of 2016. The current year is most likely to be hard for the nation. As a result, within the two first weeks of the current year, more than hundred people were killed and wounded by the attacks carried out by warring factions, including the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Taliban.
It is a bitter pill for the government to swallow that Afghan soldiers also sustained large casualties, mainly within the last two years. The soldiers, who seek to protect the rights and dignity of the nation and defend national sovereignty, lose their lives but will be forgotten soon. Afterwards, it is their families to suffer from economic constraints and their children will abandon schools. It is an undeniable fact that military forces are the backbone of a society and defend their national values. That is to say that, without the blood of soldiers, a nation will never ever breathe a sigh of relief in a relatively peaceful atmosphere.
Afghan soldiers have shown their bravery and gained national honor for the country throughout the history and will do so in the future as well. They must be paid enough heed and the life and dignity of their families should be ensured forever. The government will have to pay them decently so that they can fight the battles without economic dilemmas. Moreover, the state must reinforce the soldiers and equip them with strong arms in order to mitigate the insurgency. Our soldiers, who fight not only to protect nation’s rights but also to root out radicalism, should be considered the national heroes and heroines. Their sacrifices are highly appreciable and their names should be eternal in our history. Hence, the government is to prevent from further casualties of Afghan combatants and non-combatants through developing effective strategies.