Taliban attack Jan. 21, 2013

Editor’s note: Our writer was walking to work on January 21 when suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the traffic police headquarters in Kabul. In a nine-hour battle, five attackers and three police were killed and several bystanders were wounded. Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, their second in less than a week in the capital.

I was on my way to the office on Monday when I heard a little boy running behind me and calling, “Sitara, Sitara.”

When I turned around, I saw our neighbor’s son, the one who plays football in front of our house. He is about six and he smiles at me and says hello whenever I come and go from the office. I start and end my day with his beautiful smiles.

He was scared and breathing hard and he asked me, “Are you going to your office?”

“Yes,” I said, and then paused, “Why, what is happening?”

“You haven’t heard the news?”

“No,” I said.

He told me three suicide attackers attacked the traffic police department in Kabul.

“There are lots of explosions! All the ways are closed. The transportation is cut off so you better go back home.”

I had nothing to say. I thanked the cute boy and turned back home.

As soon as I got home, I saw my sister behind the door.

“I called several times to warn you,” she said. “The Taliban committed suicide near your office.”

“I just heard the bad news,” I replied.

I was upset, but I didn’t know who to be angry with. Am I angry at the Taliban or the government? I thought, “Why should I be angry with the Taliban? They don’t know anything about humanity. They are worse than animals. At least we can bring up animals properly.”

Yet we’re unable to talk to the Taliban, since they come to this world with the only things they know: playing with guns. To them, killing people is easier than drinking water. Their work and business is in producing bloodshed. They don’t want a normal life.

Look at Logar province, where the Taliban were fighting and claimed they wouldn’t stop until American forces left the province because they said the Americans were the ones killing the civilians. So the U.S. forces left the province six months ago and handed over the security to the Afghan forces. But the Taliban still did not stop fighting, and now they say that the Afghan forces must obey them and they will rule the province as they wish.

So should I be angry with the government or with President Karzai in particular? He always shouts that the Taliban are his “brothers” since they are Afghan and Afghanistan is their homeland. The Afghanistan government has no problem with them. Karzai says that we, as a country, are ready to forgive them and make peace, whenever the Taliban is ready.

Our president can declare this because he and his family are safe. His brothers—the Taliban—don’t hurt him. Does he care about those who lose their family members during these brutal attacks? In the end, he always appears in a press conference and offers condolences to the victims’ families.

Our government’s policy is to get along well with the criminals, both in the past and in the present. Instead of dragging them to trial and punishing them, they are pardoned.
I still see the scare in that little boy’s eyes and saw how his heart was beating fast. His kindness saved me from possibly dying during the attack. I thought about how that little boy cares about people enough to alert them of danger. I wish our president would share the boy’s feeling toward people, and that he will never ever pardon those who commit suicide and kill people.

By Sitara

AP photo: Afghan security officers on the roof of the Kabul traffic police headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan, as it is attacked by insurgents, Jan. 21, 2013.