Central Asia

Civilians main victims of war in Afghanistan, country’s HR watchdog says

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Srinagar: Figures released by the Office of the National Security Council (NSC), Afghanistan, on Saturday indicate that 16 provinces of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have witnessed 284 attacks by the Taliban in the last seven days alone.

According to a report published by an Afghanistan based news channel tolonews, NSC has claimed that civilians too have been targeted and harmed in these attacks. However, there were no details provided by the council yet.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the national human rights watchdog of the country has claimed that civilians are the main victims of the war in Afghanistan.

As per statistics published by AIHRC, in 2019, 86,823 civilians were killed and wounded in total in Afghanistan.

In response to the increased attacks in the country, Zabihullah Farhang, head of the media office of AIHRC said; “we call specifically on the Taliban to take practical steps to reduce violence”.

On February 29, 2020, the US and the Taliban signed an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan after nearly 18 years of conflict.

According to the Agreement, the United States has promised to reduce its troops to 8600 within the first 135 days, with the condition that the Taliban must significantly reduce militant operations and guarantee that the country will not become a safe haven for the militants.

“The Taliban is not going to reduce violence for the next four months. The reason is that they have no idea about their fate with the deal they signed with the US until the US elections, the report quoted Torek Farhidi, former adviser to the President, as saying.

However, the Taliban spokesman has insisted that attacks initiated by the group have reduced by 60 percent since signing of the peace deal, the report added.

The February Peace deal also solidified the promise of a prisoner swap. So far, the Afghan government has released 2019 Taliban prisoners, whereas the Taliban has released 737 prisoners.

For the success of the US-Taliban peace deal and for the peace process to move forward peace, practitioners and academics reiterate the need for Taliban to uphold its commitments of not attacking cities and highways in the country.


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