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Protesters ask people to raise voice for justice, demand resignation of senior officials

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AT-To condemn the blatant war crime of May 31, 2017 of the Taliban, a peaceful crowd of citizens gathered in Kabul and protested against the systematic failure of National Unity Government in providing security and peace to the people of Afghanistan. Frustrated by the ongoing terror in the country, people took into the streets and demanded safety and security. The protesters and their volunteer organizers were peaceful Kabuli citizen. Among them were members of civil society organizations, university lecturers, independent political activists, and a large number of ordinary men and women, who like millions of devastated Afghans felt defenseless and vulnerable in the face of the Taliban terror and the government’s failure. Neither a single political party nor any prominent political figure had played even a minor role in mobilizing people. Indeed, the yesterday’s demonstration was a genuine citizenry protest of people, who are extremely frustrated by the incompetence of NUG leaders and the entire leadership of Afghanistan National Security Forces.

Unfortunately, instead securing the crowed, the government forces opened fire against peaceful demonstrators. Six people got killed and another 21 people were injured. The use of excessive forces against the protestors by the military forces, was simply unprofessional, undemocratic, and horrifying. We responsibly reject the government’s baseless accusation about use of violent means by the protestors. Initially, there was not a single armed protester among the crowed. In case anyone had been noticed so, we believe he was a payroll of the government sabotaging the demonstrations and providing excuse for the use of force by police.

The next accusation that we categorically reject is the involvement of some opposition leaders in mobilizing and organizing the demonstrations. While we believe that protesting is equally a constitutional right for everyone, we find the indictment of the government hostile to people and to democracy. As mentioned before, our demonstration is free of any sort of influence from any political party or figure. We will not allow any opportunistic politician to manipulate the situation and replace our civil causes with their political agendas.

While we remain on the street for the second consecutive day, we kindly ask our people to join us in this civil anti-government demonstration. The official statements of the government are unanimously undemocratic in nature and threatening in tune. Securing the peaceful gatherings of citizens is a constitutional obligation of the government. We consider any hostile attempt for sabotaging our peaceful demonstration a sign of sympathy with terrorist organizations, which also invest in traumatizing the populace.

We truly believe that the Afghan government has chosen an approach rather similar to the dictatorial regime than democracy in confronting peaceful demonstrations. There is an ongoing systematic attempt to curb the potential of civil activism and freedom of the people. Therefore, we consider the dictatorial tendencies of the NUG leadership and their way of handling sensitive situations like this undemocratic and worrying.

Frustrated by the systemic failure in fight against terrorism and the growing incapacity of the government in providing safety and security to our people, we seriously and immediately demand the following set of actions:

Since the attack was a blatant war crime against humanity, the United Nations Assistant Mission in Afghanistan should immediately request the support of the UN Security Council in condemning the attack and opening an inclusive investigation. We ask our international partners, including the government of the United States, the EU member states, and the NATO to reinforce their commitment in fight against terrorism and the state-sponsors of the terrorism in our region. Fight against terrorism needs clarity, commitment, and vision. Any ambiguity in defining terrorism only prolongs the War on Terror and wastes our material and human resources.

The National Unity Government under President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah lack any sort of legitimacy and public support. We cannot expect peace and security from two unpopular leaders who failed to fulfill their legal mandates. To give more time to the current leadership, is not anymore in the interest of our innocent people who have been brutally massacred as result of the government’s ill-formed policies and vicious/ethnocentric politicking. We demand the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. It is clearly proven that they are not qualified to lead our nation and manage the ongoing crises of our country. Fortunately, the constitutional procedures for the transition to a new elected government are predicted in the Afghanistan constitution.

During yesterday’s demonstration, unfortunately one of our leading organizers also got killed along other five protesters; the security forces ruthlessly massacred them. Members of President Ashraf Ghani’s protection team were involved in shootings against demonstrators. We ask for immediate investigation of this tragic case.

We demand the resignation of all security ministers, including the National Security Advisor, Hanif Atmar. Mr. Atmar is the head figure of the enemy’s fifth column inside the government. His ever-growing expansionist role in manipulating security institutions and policies is failing the entire system. We cannot tolerate a mole in the leadership of ANSF. He should resign and the Attorney General Office should open an investigation against him.

We ask our people to stand for this legitimate and citizenry cause and to remove the vicious circle of incompetent and inept leaders, who have no commitment and interest in keeping our country and our people safe and secure. Once and forever, we should end the tragedy of our people’s carnage. We stand to tell our people that indifference emboldens the terrorists, encourages their regional and global partners, and protracts our miseries and suffering.

Despite the threat of the Taliban terror and the systemic autocratic tendencies of the NUG leadership, we firmly remain committed to our civic anti-government protest and until we get what we deserve as responsible citizens of Afghanistan. (Protest Declaration)