LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Jan Mohammad, a resident of Sangin district of southern Helmand province, lost 18 members of his family in a NATO forces airstrike 12 years ago when he was just eight years old.
Jan Mohammad, now 20, is resident of Khanan village of Sangin district.
“I was eight years old when foreign troops bombed our house during the wedding ceremony of my brother, killing my mother, brothers and sisters, in total my18 family members were killed,” Jan Mohammad said.
Only he and his younger sister survived the attack and now his sister is married.
He said they went through many hardships after his father was killed during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. His father was a Mujahideen fighter.
Since his father’s death, his mother had been looking after the family, Jan Mohammad said.
“My father was killed during the Russian invasion and my mother was widowed, but during the American invasion, my mother, eight brothers, seven sisters, my brother’s wife and my nephew were killed.”
He said due to the grief, sorrow and hopelessness he developed mental illness and people now called him insane.
As tears rolled down his cheeks, Jan Mohammad said: “War is ruthless, it brings misfortunes. I am no more than a corpse, I lost my house, family and I am not able to marry”.
Continuing the sad story of his family, he said: “I couldn’t recall what happened during the bombardment as I was knocked unconscious. When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital, my wounded sister was lying near my bed. There were our villagers in the hospital, I heard them saying (oh who will be raising this girl). At that time I did know who were killed and who survived”.
“I am like a prisoner in the world, my soul is not in peace, there is no happiness in my life,” he said.
When he and my sister were discharged from the hospital, their paternal uncle took them to his house instead of their own house.
“When my uncle came to the hospital, he said he wanted to take us to his house, we didn’t know we have lost family members in that bombardment and that we are now without a guardian. Then my uncle told me the whole story that all of my family members were martyred and I had to live with his family,” Jan Mohammad said.
Jan Mohammad said he was depressed and missed his mother, brothers and sisters a lot. He urged the government not to forget the victims of wars in provision of its assistance.
“War is the mother of all miseries, I hope a permanent peace is restored in the country and no one talks about the war again,” he added.
Abdul Wakil, a tribal elder and a villager of Jan Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Jan Mohammad was eight years old when he lost 18 members of his family in an airstrike of foreign troops on his house”.
Currently he has his only surviving younger sister who is also married and lives elsewhere, he said.
“Jan Mohammad is mentally ill and needs medical treatment, the government must help him in his treatment and province him shelter,” Abdul Wakil said.
Pajhwok shared the story of Jan Mohammad with provincial officials of Helmand province and they promised to help him.
Mawlawi Mohammad Qasem Riaz, deputy Information and Culture Department head, said the government has helped many such needy people and it will continue to do so.
“Those who lost their family members or their houses and properties were destroyed during the previous wars are entitled to get assistance, the government will continue to assist them,” Riaz said.
Millions of people were killed and wounded in the past four decades of wars, rendering countless children orphaned and women widowed in the country. ‘