Heart-rending

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Heart-rending

Saturday, 21 August 2021 | Pioneer

Heart-rending

Afghan women are throwing their kids over to foreign soldiers so the children can stay safe

Growing up through our primary classes years ago, we all had read a jungle story about a female deer and her young offspring who accidentally land in the attack range of a hungry lion. The doe manages to take flight in the nick of time and evades the ravenous jaws, only to look back from a safe distance and find that the fawn is still in the danger of being devoured by the big cat. So what does she do? She sprints back to the scene of action and parks herself tactically in the line of attack between the young deer and the salivating lion. The lion is only too happy to shift attention to the bigger meatloaf and makes her the quarry. The maturity to understand that mama deer had wilfully sacrificed her own life out of affection to save the life of her young one dawned only years later. A similar story, though the ending is not so poignant, not yet at least, is playing out for the past few days at the perimeter fencing of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The interiors of the airport, including the tarmac and the apron area, are still under the control of the departing US Army and British Army soldiers while the Taliban gunmen are maintaining a menacing vigil outside the razor fencing wall.

Now, desperate to escape the clutches of the rapacious Taliban militants, hundreds of Afghan women have been dodging leering looks and flying bullets for the past few days to reach the perimeter wall and requesting the foreign military personnel to take them out of the country in their aircraft that are making sorties to evacuate the respective embassy personnel and other expatriates. The helpless and hopeless Afghan mothers, who are trying everything in their power to ensure safety, education and good life for their children (especially young girls), are so despondent that some of them are even flinging the little ones over the barbed wires and requesting the soldiers to take pity and the kids with them. Just imagine how hard it would be for a mother to deliberately part with her baby but the choice is Hobson’s: Send them away if you want them to live or keep them with love, but their longevity is very suspect after the Taliban takeover. Which again brings the doe and the fawn to mind!

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