Korean Hostage Deal

September 13, 2007

Taliban insurgents finally released the group of 19 South Koreans from their custody recently. This was the first time that the Taliban kidnapped a large number of foreigners in Afghanistan and it’s a warning to all other foreigners working in Afghanistan to take more caution when they travel from one province to another., The kidnapping of the South Korean group sparked anger of many Afghan people.

Because they were innocent civilians and it’s against our religion and culture to kidnap innocent civilians, especially women. But unfortunately the Taliban did not care about Afghan culture and prestige. Our great prophet Mohammed peace be upon him advised his forces to only kill those enemies who fight with you face to face on the battle ground – do not kill their women and children – do not kill the young and old men who work on their fields and those who are civilians. But the Taliban broke all the teachings of Islam and kidnapped civilians who were mostly women and came here to help us.

Although some people think they came here to teach Christianity but most Afghan people believe that they came to help us and they condemned Taliban for kidnapping the Koreans. Afghans want to have good relationships with all countries around the world so we hope that the people of South Korea do not think that all Afghans are like the Taliban insurgents. They must know that the Taliban is a rebel group that can do anything for their own benefit and that has nothing to do with the Afghan people. The Afghan people are brave and hospitable and would never do such an action to make a bad name for themselves.

I think it would have been better if the Afghan government had made a deal with Taliban instead of the Korean government. The Taliban demanded the release of one Taliban commander from the custody of the Afghan government which could have been better than the Korean government dealing with the Taliban. According to some reports, the Taliban got a ransom from the Korean government to release the Korean citizens. Even though the release of a Taliban commander is a big mistake, it would have been better than the $20 million deal and the withdrawal of the Korean troops from Afghanistan. 20 million dollars is a lot of money and the Taliban can buy weapons to use against the Afghan and coalition forces and they can increase and arrange more suicide attacks around the country which will kill dozens of innocent people. I hope in the future the Afghan government should be the one to deal with the Taliban not the other government.

The presence of foreign troops is very important for peace and stability of Afghanistan. Even though the South Koreans have a small number of their troops in our country, and we have already thousands of foreign troops in our country, the terrorists have not been completely defeated and our own army is not strong enough to fight our enemies by themselves. Therefor we will need the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan for a few more years and it will be more useful if we have more troops from different countries.

If in the future any kidnap cases happen in our country then our own government is responsible to deal with kidnappers, not the 3rd country. If the other countries make deals with insurgents it will show the weakness and weak authority of our government and our people will lose their trust in their current government.

I advise foreign nationals not to travel anywhere, particularly to the south and eastern provinces, without a security escort, otherwise there will be a risk of kidnapping. The best and safest way for foreigners to travel to Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad provinces is to travel by plane. It’s cheap and safe. There are flights to these provinces 3 times a week. If they don’t want to fly then they should talk with Afghan security forces before they travel. The security forces can advise them better about the situation on the motorways.

Our foreign friends should also keep in mind that if they came here for missionary activities then the Afghan people will not help them. They should know that Afghans will never accept those who are trying to carry out missionary activities. Afghans love their own religion and culture. They also love freedom but as long as it doesn’t offend their religion.

Taliban is using this new tactic of hostage-taking to take advantages from the Afghan government and foreign countries that helps us in both security and reconstruction. After the successful official deal with the South Korean government, the Taliban demonstrated their wide presence in different provinces. This deal will encourage more kidnappings and the Taliban will try to kidnap more civilians to get more ransoms and advantages from the Afghan and foreign governments so we hope the foreigners will take more caution when traveling around the country. It will be safe for their own life and it will also stop the Taliban from getting ransoms and use the ransom back against the Afghan people government and foreign countries.

from Afghan Warrior

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Picnicking Out of Kabul

August 9, 2007

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Last Friday we went out of Kabul for a picnic. I was invited by my German friend Martin Garner.
In the early morning I went to Park-e- Share-e-Naw to watch partridge fighting in order to complete my articles about animal fighting in Afghanistan. After some murmurings the competition started. I witnessed two matches and interviewed the winners.

Later I called Martin and joined him after an hour that I passed in the heavy traffic. It was not only me who Martin and his friend were waiting for but another Kandahari guy coming from far away was expected too. We came out of the car and walked along side the area when I saw a motorcyclist stopping nearby and looking as seriously. Soon, he pulled out his cell-phone and started calling and looking. I was about to be afraid and noticed Martin and his Afghan friend who were talking in French. When he heard what I saw he was afraid more than me and started calling to his friends who had left us in the street.

After a while his friend came and we continued our journey to Wardak. We had multi problems, not only security, and this deteriorated over the last few days. The driver was careless and nearly crashed two to three times. After we insisted much, he started to drive a bit more slowly but still there was fear. We reached Maidan Wardak, where a tanker was set on fire just a few days before. I asked Martin to change his seat and sit in the back to avoid more attention. On the way we saw a school that was fired at and a road was ruined by a roadside bomb.

“This village is full of Taliban and I have no doubt that many bombs are planted at the road side”, the driver whispered slowly to his friend. Read more at Afghanlord.org


Pak-Afghan relation: attempts to improve it

June 1, 2007

An Afghan journalist delegation visited Pakistan in May. In the course of the trip the delegation visited different Pakistani cities and talked with various Pakistani journalists, officials and activists. The delegation reveals its finding of Pak-Afghan crisis-hit relationship…continued here