The latest attack on employees of Afghanistan’s human rights body which resulted in the killing of two of its employees should be condemned by all. The attacks on human rights defenders cannot be justified under any situation. This massacre will further push the country towards the direction of uncertainty. The attack paints a grim present and future for peace and stability in the war-torn country.

This attack can be seen as a continuation of the recent wave of attacks on human rights, international aid and medical workers. The aim of these forces of destabilisation is plain: they want to subvert all kinds of developments that are necessary for peace, stability and progress of the Afghan people and their country. The pattern is visible. After the attack on a maternity hospital in Kabul a month ago, Doctors Without Borders (MSN) wrapped up their operations in the country. The attack on human rights workers will force the organisations monitoring the human rights situation in Afghanistan to pack up and leave.

Despite the peace deal between the US and the Taliban, rampant lawlessness in the country reigns supreme. All parties are busy fighting each other to secure inch after inch by inflicting pain on the Afghan society. While both sides have chosen Doha as a venue for holding the intra-Afghan dialogue, such incidents can prove disastrous for the second phase of the peace process.

The macabre dance of violence in the towns and streets of Afghanistan must come to an end. Only the Afghan government and the Taliban can do this. And they must understand that in their struggle for gaining more power, the ordinary Afghan emerges as the most prominent victim. Therefore, both sides need to work together on the reduction of violence. Also, the parties must appreciate the value of guaranteed protections for women and all citizens, regardless of their religious and ethnic affiliations, if a durable peace is what they intend to secure.