Do Not Disappoint People

It has been more than a month and a half since a series of assassinations began in different provinces of the country. The main targets of these assassinations have been journalists, civil society activists and prominent media figures. However, the government has been yet to present a proper plan to curb these assassinations.

The continuing assassinations, on the one hand, and the government’s failure to contain them, on the other, paint a bleak picture of the future. Civil society activists and media figures these days do not sleep well with the realization that they are closer to death than ever before. Unfortunately, the global condemnation of these assassinations has not yet affected the decisions of the assassination squads and their supporters.

The government’s response to the assassination of civil society activists and media figures is irresponsible and clichéd. The government simply issues a statement against every event and condemns it. According to the government, these assassinations are the work of the enemies of peace in Afghanistan. The government says the assassinations are aimed at creating a gap between the people and the government. There is nothing new in the government’s stance against these assassinations.

This light-hearted approach to the phenomenon of terror has given some political figures the opportunity to take advantage of any event. Recently, some political figures stated that if the government was unable to secure the lives of the people, it should allow them to enter the scene directly. There are many other political figures who stand in line to profit from this situation. Their purpose in announcing this is nothing but using the current turbulent situation for their political ends.

Political figures taking advantage of this situation will lower the level of people’s loyalty to the government. At the same time, it will increase people’s loyalty to these figures. The worst consequence of this is the reduction of the government’s legitimacy and standing in the eyes of the people. Eventually, the people will turn to alternative political centers instead of going to the government. This will lead to the unintentional death of the institution of government in the long run.

There is no doubt that the purpose for assassinating civil society activists and media figures is to spread public pessimism about the government. This has always been the goal of the enemy and will continue be in the future. The government, however, has a responsibility not to allow such a gap to be created. That is why people expect the government’s plans and actions to go beyond mere condemnation of these events, which is something that can be done by anyone and any organization other than the government. The government cannot absolve itself of responsibility just by issuing proclamations and lamentation and pointing to the enemy’s goal. The general expectation is that the terrorist gangs be identified and brought to justice. This is the main responsibility of the government.

Unfortunately, this is not a responsibility that the government seems to be very interested in fulfilling. Many who have recently been in contact with the government because of these threats have received very disappointing responses. According to civil society activists and media figures, the government’s response to these threats has been very short and simple: “everyone should look out for themselves.” This answer is really disappointing. If everyone is going to look out for themselves, what is the need for an institution called the government? In that case, why should people pay taxes to the government and follow it? The people have accepted the existence of the government and its sovereignty so that it would protect their lives and property. This principle is observed even in dictatorial and non-electoral systems. It is illogical for people to be left alone and then asked not to distance themselves from the government but to remain loyal to it.

The assassinations are said to be the work of “enemies of peace in Afghanistan”. Who are these enemies and why are they not introduced to the people? The government cannot absolve itself of responsibility simply by saying that a civilian or media activist has been assassinated by “enemies of peace in Afghanistan”. The government must identify those insincere to peace and redefine its relationship with them. Otherwise, how can people believe that some countries or groups are behind these assassinations and some are not? It is therefore suggested that the government adopt a clear language on these events and refrain from lamentation and talking in general or vague terms. The people need to see practical actions from the government. This is not possible unless, first, there is the will to contain the assassinations and, second, there is a plan tailored towards this goal. Otherwise, the same enemies that the government is worried about achieving their goals will win this deadly and bloody game.