Afghanistan: Protesters, president in talks after civilians beheaded by Daesh
Protesters carry the coffins of the decapitated Shia Hazaras in Kabul. (AFP/Shah Marai)
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Representatives of protesters, outraged by the decapitation of seven members of the minority Hazara community, on Thursday laid down their demands during talks with government, warning of large-scale demonstrations if their calls were ignored.
Negotiations at the Presidential Palace got underway at around 8:30pm wednesday night, with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, defence and interior ministers in attendance.
Misbah, a relative of the individuals who were beheaded in Zabul province on November 8, said the government had been informed about deteriorating security situation in Ghazni, but no action was taken to ensure civilian security.
He added Ghani was reminded that a delegation from the troubled province had arrived in the capital a few weeks back but the authorities concerned, including the president, did not have the time to meet it.
Punishment of those involved in the beheading of seven Shia Hazaras, ensuring peace in Hazara-inhabited areas and the establishment of a military corpsthere are among the key demands.
Improvement of the Khak-i-Afghan district administration, creation of security check-posts in Gilan district and surrounding areas and compensation for the victims’ families are other demands of the protestors.
Misbah quoted the president as saying defence and interior ministers had been tasked with devising a plan for the safety of highways and roads, but he declined the call for the establishment of a military corps.
During the talks, CEO Abdullah insisted the government had never ignored the grievances of the masses, blasting some elements for promoting their personal interest in the garb of protests.
It is not yet clear whether or not the protesters are satisfied with the government’s response. But a source privy to the discussions said majority of the protestors were adamant on staying in the Presidential Palace.
On Wednesday, thousands of people staged a protest in the capital against the decapitation of the civilians by Daesh insurgents.The victims had been abducted from Jaghori district a month back.
Outraged by the beheadings, Kabul residents rallied from Kota Sangi area to the Presidential Palace. The slogan-chanting demonstrators, including civil society members, carried the victims’ bodies.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material
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