JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Shafiqullah, a 14-year-old boy who lost both his legs to a bomb blast and whose many family members are also disabled, hopes to become a doctor and serve his people with the arrival of peace in the country.
A resident of Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, Shafiqullah and his family left their home due to the conflict in their area and displaced to Fatehabad village of Surkhrod district eight years ago. Then six-year-old, the boy did not know the conflict has raged in every part of the country and lost both of his legs to a blast in the area where he has taken refuge two years ago.
Shafiqullah came out of his house, hardly walking using crutches and sat down on the side of a wall with the help of others. Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Shafiqullah started his bitter story by saying, “Two years ago, I and my peers were playing with a warhead that suddenly exploded.”
After a short pause, he got a lump in throat and said, “We did not know it was a bomb, we bound it near our houses and started playing with it when suddenly it went off and I did not know what happened next, when I returned to senses in hospital. If there was peace, this incident would not have happened.”
He said recalling the incident saddened him and increased his pain. He said besides him, six other children in his family had been wounded in blasts, with some losing their limbs.
“The warhead had been fired by one of the warring sides and left on the battle ground a day before a clash between Afghan forces and the Taliban.”
As tears rolled down on his cheeks, the boy said, “If there was peace and no war, I would not have had faced this situation, my family would not have seen this pain. God bring peace to the country, so other families not face the situation we are in today.”
The war victim was happy over the peace deal between the US and Taliban and reduction of violence, saying war was dark and peace light.
Shafiqullah, who has lost family members and his own body parts in the war, said he could no longer play with children but he would not lose faith and would continue his school.
He said a local businessman has hired a teacher for him and other children of their family with disabilities. “We go to school only in exam days with the help of others.”
The boy was hopeful of becoming a doctor and serving his people, particularly those disabled in the war. However, he said he would realize his dream if lasting peace was ensured in the country and the conflict ended.
“I may not reach my hope if there is war because I have lost my legs in war and I may lose my life next time,” he said.
Ezatullah, grandfather of Shafiqullah, said the hardest day for them was when three members of his family were killed in one day and seven kids of his family were disabled.
He pointed to Marwa, a six years old girl old who also lost her legs in the explosion, said that mother of Marwa was killed in that incident.
The grandfather was happy about education facility offered to their children and repeatedly prayed to God for peace in Afghanistan.
According to the Ministry of Martyrs and People with Disabilities, around 800,000 people in Afghanistan have been disabled by the conflict and the number will rise if the war continues.
The Afghan people are tired of the four decades of war and they want peace.
A survey launched by Pajhwok Afghan News in February showed 93 percent of Afghans wanted peace in their country.
Another survey found that 65 percent of people were hopeful for lasting peace in the country after the US-Taliban deal.
The peace agreement between the US and Taliban was signed in Qatar on February 29 after one and a half years of negotiations.
Intra-Afghan negotiations would start on March 10 for ceasefire and lasting peace in the country.