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Bolstering roads security

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There has been a serious spike in roads insecurity. Masses, once again urged the government to take decisive measures to ensure security along highways. However, the calls fell once again on deaf ears as kidnapping and killing of passengers have become an order of the day.  Instead of establishing security posts in the past decade to quell insurgency and ensure safety of travelers and commuters the government launched multiple military operations against anti-state elements which had limited effects. Just elimination doesn’t suffice. Maintenance of security is what matters. After the operations when the security forces left the areas, insurgents returned once again to make lives of locals miserable. Therefore, if the success rate is measured of such operations it would not be exaggeration to say that militants are moving in a cycle—move to other parts to escape ire of Afghan security forces and make a comeback when the operation is over.

Perhaps, it is a key reason that has caused rise in security problems.  Being, worst hit by security problems, residents of Dara-i-Suf district of Balkh province warned of indefinite protest if the government fails to tighten security of roads leading to their district. The warning is the outcome of a kidnapping case when unknown armed men kidnapped three persons in Shulgar district of the province. This is not the first ever case of this nature as earlier 31 passengers were kidnapped at gunpoint, allegedly by the Islamic State fighters. Fate of those kidnapped is still uncertain despite tireless efforts of the local tribal elders and family members. No doubt, it was a preplanned act of the terror group to use the kidnapped passengers as a bargaining chip to secure release of its detained foot-soldiers and battlefield commanders, or perhaps get huge sum in ransom to finance terror activities.

If the IS or Daesh really planned to do so, it would be a major blowback for the security efforts initiated recently to clear restive parts of the country from militants and foreign-origin terrorists. No matter what is the cost but the government has to ramp up efforts to release the passengers because their safety is state’s responsibility.

It would have been better if the government have taken security measures in advance to secure the highways. To address the concerns of the protestors of Dara-i-Suf, there shouldn’t be any delay and the government should improve security along all roads. When roads are insecure, it will not only affect businesses but also human lives.