Video Editor: Vishal Kumar
The recent twin blasts in Kabul that killed at least 26 and injured several shocked the world. But even more shocking was the fact that the second suicide bombing was targeted at the journalists who had gone to cover the aftermath of the first bombing.
The killing of nine journalists created ripples of concern in the entire South Asian region. The Quint caught up with Afghan Ambassador to India, Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, at Foreign Correspondents Club for South Asian Journalists in New Delhi to talk about the incident and safeguarding the freedom of press in war-torn Afghanistan.
This was the bloodiest year for Afghan Media. This was an attack on global media. More importantly, this attack was on Afghan youth.Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghan Ambassador to India
‘Attack Targeted at Scaring the Media’
At the discussion titles ‘Is Afghanistan the most dangerous place for journalists?’, Dr Abdali claimed that while security was a challenge for Afghanistan, the same did not mean that Afghanistan was a dangerous place to operate in and that the government was doing everything in their capability to ensure journalists continue to work safely.
Media is the best tool to deal with terrorism in terms of their activities and exposing what they havebeen doing in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. So, we hope that the media, globally and regionally, will join hands to stop and put pressure on those who are not allowing the media to be free and reflect the ground realities.Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghan Ambassador to India
‘2018 Bloodiest Year for Afghan Media’
He went on to say that even though 2018, with just four months into the year has been one of the bloodiest years for the media in Afghanistan but claimed that the government held talks with the media to try and control the current situation.
“We offered our support and we will be doing anything we can to provide the media protection, if they seek, from the Afghan government”, he said.
‘Hopeful of Getting Support from India and other South Asian Nations’
Talking about the developments in the Indo-Afghan relations, Dr Abdali claimed that the threat to terrorism is a fight that affects the entire South-Asian region and India, much like Afghanistan was affected by the same threats of extremism and terrorism. Hence, he claimed there was a need to join hands to strengthen the fight against terrorism.
Afghanistan and India are facing the same common problem which is terrorism and we hope that India and Afghanistan together, with the rest of the region will join hands to fight terrorism which is affecting everyone. India and Afghanistan are doing much in this regard and we only expect our other neighbours and the global community to join us and to work on a common fight that is based sincerely on the principles that we all seek.Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghan Ambassador to India
Welcoming the joint development initiatives by India and China to begin in Afghanistan, he claimed that the same is a hope that other neighbours will come together to work for each other’s interests.
‘Afghan-India Test Series a Dream For Afghanistan’
Talking about the Afghanistan - India test series to begin in June this year, Dr Abdali claimed that the series came as a dream for the nation.
This is the dream and this was the dream for our cricket team and I’m glad that our team is going to play against India, a country that has done so great globally in the cricket field. We have also entered the IPL with two of our players playing for two franchises. The players are the backbone of the two teams so we are glad to see our teams playing so well and we hope that these cricket ties will go to a much higher level so that people-to-people contact is much more strengthened.Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghan Ambassador to India
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