On Saturday, two employees of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) lost their lives in a car blast in Kabul.
One of them was Natasha, a young woman who had recently come back to Afghanistan to work against the myriad human rights violations and violence in the country. After the blast, which took place inside the car at Kabul's 12th district, Natasha's sister Lima Halima Ahmad took to Twitter to express her grief.
Halima, a women's rights champion in Afghanistan and the founder of "I See You Campaign", shared an image of the car Natasha had been traveling in on the microblogging site. "My baby sister, my child was taken from me in this car. I told her to come back to Afghanistan, I told her this country needs her. How I will ever forgive myself? I am sure she was not hurt, I am hoping she didn’t feel the pain of the blast," Halima wrote.
My baby sister, my child was taken from me in this car. I told her to come back to Afghanistan, I told her this country needs her. How I will ever forgive myself? I am sure she was not hurt, I am hoping she didn’t feel the pain of the blast @TOLOnews https://t.co/NcPbHYNk71— Lima Halima Ahmad (@Limaahmad) June 27, 2020
The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy Research Fellow posted a subsequent tweet in which she recalled how little money she and her family had when Natasha was born. "When my Natasha was born we didn't have 500 rupees to pay the midwife, so she left her to me along with my mother," she wrote. "Poverty didn't lead her to be a terrorist, she knew five languages by age 16. She had two degrees by 22. She studied at Afghan Turk school, so she knew Islam more than her killers," the women's rights activist added.
When my Natasha was born we didnt have 500 rupees to pay the midwife, so she left her to me along my mother.Poverty didnt led her to be a terrorist, she knew 5 languages by age 16.She had 2 degrees by 22.She studied at Afghan Turk school, so she knew Islam more than her killers pic.twitter.com/T0qV5iW9Kl— Lima Halima Ahmad (@Limaahmad) June 27, 2020
"The blast caused by a magnetic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeted" the car they were travelling in, Kabul police spokesperson Firdaws Faramarz told Efe news, IANS reported.
The attack led to widespread condemnation of the killings. But the grim situation is not new to Afghanistan which has seen nearly two decades of insurgency since 2001 after the United States invaded the country in order to drive away Taliban and not allowing Al-Qaeda to form a base in Afghan territory. The 18-year-long War in Afghanistan continues to this day despite the US negotiating terms of return after its longest war in history.
Even amid the US government's negotiations with Taliban and the Afghan government, violence has continued throughout 2019 and 2020. As per a report by the BBC in 2019, an average of 74 women, men and children were killed daily in August. As per data maintained by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, there have been as many as 100,000 casualties) in Afghanistan since 2010.
As for the blast in Kabul that resulted in the deaths of the two AIHRC staffers, no organisation or terror outfit has come forth to take responsibility.