News - Afghanistan
In a new development, the Afghan presidential palace said Friday that steps have been taken to finalize execution orders of militants convicted for their involvement in acts of terrorism.
The list of militants on death row has been submitted to the president for final proceedings, the presidential palace said in a statement on Friday.
Afghan government officials have so far refrained from commenting on the numbers and background of the terrorists.
But political commentators and families of those killed during the Afghan insurgency increased their calls this week to President Ashraf Ghani to end the policy of impunity towards terrorists and carry out executions.
They said that the government must implement the law and court orders including that relating to Anas Haqqani, brother of the leader of the Haqqani network, which is blamed for plotting suicide attacks in Afghanistan.
While pressure on the Afghan National Unity Government (NUG) gathers fresh momentum, families affected by insurgent attacks have criticized NUG leaders of not implementing the laws on the terrorists, arguing that they voted for these politicians in the elections to bring about basic changes in the country, however, the leaders are reluctant to deal with terrorists from a harsher standpoint.
They expressed deep concerns over the release of top militant fighters from prisons guilty of plotting acts of terrorism against the Afghans.
Faisal, 16, was an Afghan teenager who lost his life in a deadly attack last year in Shah Shaheed area of the Afghan capital, an attack that elicited strong criticism among public for government's policy on terrorism.
"Not even a single government authority visited us to inquire about our misery after the attack," said Zabiullah, the father of the slain boy.
Instead government released high level Taliban inmates from jails and this policy added to our pains, said Zabiullah.
Zabiullah who was also injured in the attack called on the Afghan government to show no mercy on terrorists, stressing that such a policy will defame political leaders in years to come.
"How long do we have to show mercy, for Allah's sake, stop giving impunity to the criminals. They (terrorists) have killed and wounded large numbers of our people, but so far no criminal has been executed. I will feel easy when I see that the criminals are hanged in public including Anas Haqqani. We cast ballots to bring change to the lives of our people and to improve the security, but no one is bothering to think about the people," he said.
However, exact numbers of terrorists on death row have not been released but a government spokesman Friday said that the Afghan government is resolute in sticking to the law where terrorists are concerned.
"The list is in the final stage, it will be put on the desk of the president for final approval. However, exact numbers of these individuals will be announced later," a deputy presidential spokesman, Dawa Khan Meenapal said.
Last week's deadly truck bomb attack in Kabul drew strong reactions from Afghans with many calling for government to implement the law on criminals.
Among those who responded to the NUG's new shift on terrorism was Rahmatollah Nabil, former director of Afghan directorate of security, NDS, who in a Facebook page post said that if the government is committed to punishing terrorists, then it must take action and execute Haqqani network's number two, Anas Haqqani.
Another NDS ex-director Amrullah Saleh cast doubt over government's shift on terrorists, arguing that the government so far has not concluded charges against Anas Haqqani and his case is yet to be referred to the courts.
In addition, some Afghan members of the national assembly have also asked government to deliver on their promises on terrorism.
"It is quite significant that the presidential orders are implemented. You know that the president's remarks on execution of dangerous inmates drew extraordinary appreciation. This shows that we must keep the support of our 30 million people, but not think of the words of a few people," senator Mohammad Asif Sediqqi said.
Meanwhile, a number of Kabul residents have also rallied for the implementation of the law.
"There is signs of implementing the promises. In recent days our people have heard a lot of promises as they heard it during election campaigns, but this time we hope that these promises are fulfilled," Kabul resident Sayed Naqib Jaffarian said.
Over the past decade, the Afghan government released many Taliban fighters from jails with the majority of them simply returning to the battle field.
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