Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Civilian Casualty, The Response of Govt.

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Civilian Casualty,  The Response of Govt.

President Hamid Karzai cut short his China trip due to latest civilian casualties in airstrike by NATO-led troops in the central province of Logar.On Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 22 civilians were killed and 50 other injured in twin suicide attacks in Kandahar, while 18 people died in the ISAF strike in Logar. NATO Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen flew to Logar to offer his condolences and apologized officially.

On Saturday, Gen. Allen,while meeting with President Karzai in presidential palace, promised that foreign forces would not conduct aerial strike on civilian houses. It conceives that Airstrikes which cause civilian casualty by NATO led forces are mistakenly and sometimes by false intelligence reports.

President Karzai has time and again strongly condemned the civilian casualties by international forces. In his recent comment he said that NATO operations that inflict human and material losses to civilians can in no way be justifiable, acceptable and tolerablesaying that unilateral airstrikes by American forces would be considered a violation of the Afghan-US strategic cooperation pact and invasion on Afghanistan,which shows that President Karzai is serious about civilian casualty.

On the other hand Taliban militants attack civilians directly and indirectly. Directly is what we have been witnessing since last week in Behsud district of Maidan Wardak province which caused killing of peace loving people and loss of their belongings and farms. Aimal Faizi, President Karzai's spokesman, while answering a question about Behsud Invasion from a journalist in a press conference on Saturday,admitted that the attackers in Behsud are armed opponents(Taliban) helping Kuchi militants.

But since last many years, no necessary measure is taken by Government to avert the attack on innocent civilian. Indirectly attacks are those in which civilian are being killed from Taliban attack on Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and NATO-led international forces conveys.

Although, Innocent children and women are being used by Taliban to carry out suicide attacks and even sometimes burn the holy Quran and mosquesto achieve their evil ambition but President Karzai does not seem tired of calling them as his unhappy brothers.Since the very beginning Taliban have been blamed for the mass civilian casualties throughout the country and still are in control of large swaths.

Let's have an eye on UN reports on civilian casualties. A reportby United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows that 579 civilians had been killed in the first four months of this year and most of the killings were carried out by militants.

The UNAMA head, Jan Kubis, said in press conference that"79 percent of the casualties were caused by militants, nine percent by ANSF and international soldiers, while 12 percent were killed in non-combatant violence."

"Although civilian casualties had dropped by 21 percent compared to the first four months of last year, still there were worries about civilian casualties in the future. About 1,216 people were wounded in the first quarter of this year," he added.

Taliban are blamed for 79% of the civilian casualty, isn't it a great matter of concern for Afghan government?
Although civilian casualty by Taliban militants are much more as compare to the NATO-led international forces which seems to be ignored by Afghan President and Taliban are never bother to apologize for their brutality.
After 2014, when all the international forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan what will be the situation in Afghanistan and how will the Afghan populace survive in such environment? Many observers and analysts say that Taliban are well trained and use sophisticated weapons as compared to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which indicates that ANSF will not be able to retaliate Taliban's fierce and lethal attacksafter 2014.

Here a question arises in one's mind that if ANSF will not be able to defend themselves how will they defend Afghan civilian when already there are fear of external interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs.
Notwithstanding, President Karzai calling Taliban as his unhappy brothers again and again which will further deteriorate already bleak future of Afghanistan and they will never come to negotiation table and will not reconcile as perhaps the perception given to them by PresidentKarzai that they are stronger than the ANSF and International forces present on the ground. It has also given them the opportunity to cash as much as possible from the situation so as to have lion's share in the post-withdrawal Afghanistan.

Government is angry with the NATO forces for not caring about civilian casualty while conducting night raid and aerial strike against militants. On the other hand, it is also important for Afghan government that civilian matters should be dealt strictly whether it is about their security, casualty, mandate, education, health and even should be worried about the endemic corruption which has direct impact on poor's life.

Even after so much concern regarding the good governance, elimination of poverty, corruption and standard of living for the common Afghan people, the government has not been able to take any major step. Civilian casualties as a result of all these problems are much more than the ones killed in NATO attacks, is there anyone in the government to stand committed against them?

While dealing with civilian casualty whether by NATO-led international forces or Taliban militants, and according to many analysts the IED attacks, suicide blasts and assault on foreign convoys and killing of civilian, is the response to President Karzai'sflexibility towards Taliban and shows that they will never accept Afghan constitution and will never come to the negotiation table and reconcile until and unless international forces are present in Afghanistan.

It should be mentioned here, that it is natural when there is conflict there is casualty. Although NATO forces sometimes blame that the intelligence reports given to them were not correct and also Taliban take shelter in the districts among population, which makes it very difficult for NATO-led security forces and even for ANSFto recognize who are Taliban and who are not.

NATO-led security forces, too, should keep it in mind that Afghan people have been through dark days since last three decades and consider International community the only liberatorat this acute and critical stage where there is no hope of a bright, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.

Kazim Ali Gulzari is the Vice-Chairman of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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