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Death of a comedian in Afghanistan—cheerless Taliban turn their back on laughter

Afghan comedian Nazar Mohammad was killed by the Taliban for his affiliation with the “notorious” pro-government forces

Being a comedian, in war-torn Afghanistan is no laughing matter, especially when the area is controlled by the Taliban. Nazar Mohmmad popularly known as  Khasha Zwan was shot dead by Taliban in Dand District of Kandahar on Thursday. According to the family, the Taliban after capturing the village, dragged Mohammad out from his house and executed him in “Taliban” style. His crime was that he used to make people “laugh” with his comedy, which is a serious “crime” under Taliban rule.

His other crime was that he was a former employee of the Kandahar police department. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of  Mohammed. In a statement, they said that their victim was killed for his affiliation with the “notorious” pro-government forces.

The Provincial Council says that more than 300 people have been taken out of their homes in Kandahar province and killed by the group in recent days.

Also Read: Afghan army chief comes calling to India amid raging civil war

According to the Human Rights  Watch , the Taliban forces that have taken control of many districts in Kandahar province have detained hundreds of residents whom they accuse of association with the Afghan government. War-ravaged Afghanistan under Taliban  is not new to the targeted killing of artists, journalists, educationists and intellectuals. 

On the diplomatic front, the Taliban have put a new demand during negotiations in Doha. They stress that unless President Asharaf Ghani is removed from office, they would not be ready for peace talks. 

According to few experts, it seems that in Afghanistan, history repeats itself, in a very similar way, very soon and many times. There was a similar demand some 30 years ago, from another group,  similar to the Taliban. After the departure of the Soviet troops in 1990s following the downfall of the Najibullah government several mujahideen groups fought each other, plunging Afghanistan into a devastating civil war and killing thousands of Afghans. Those events saw the rise of the Taliban movement, which swept away warlord rule and established the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Also Read: Afghan government confident of defeating Taliban with air support from India, Russia, Iran and the US

But unlike those times,  Ashraf Ghani’s government is not ready to “surrender” to the Taliban, and is willing to put up a fight. 

“I strongly support holding elections at the earliest possible time,” Ghani said at the conference in Dushanbe. “My greatest honour will be to hand over authority to my elected successor.” On 16 July, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in Uzbekistan that Pakistan had not severed its ties with terror groups and more than 10000 fighters  entered Afghanistan within one month and were fighting along the Taliban.

“Taliban has won battles, we will win the war,” said the  Afghan President Ghani in an interview with an Indian media. The Afghan government is also reaching out to powerful forces overseas for strong support to counter the Taliban onslaught. India is part of Kabul’s outreach.

Also Read: Taliban desperate to capture its place of birth–Kandahar

The Afghan Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah landed in Delhi and had talks with the Indian External affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. As Kabul has decided to take on the Taliban in the battlefield, Afghan army chief Gen Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is also scheduled to visit India for three days from July 27.