By Abdul Samad Haidari
The situation in Afghanistan is undermined by the convergence of demographic, social, economic, and of course, political challenges. With the progressive and ongoing departure of international and U.S military forces, including other actors and the subsequent transition to a full Afghan political control and the constant release of the Taliban militants, push the country under the threat of the Taliban militants again and again.
After more than a decade of bold commitments by the U.S and its allies in Afghanistan for better security situation, political stability and social development, including other economic sectors, yet the challenges for peace, political stability and other social development remained constantly concerning and most seriously fragile. Thus, the efforts to guarantee stability and security continued to be undermined by the Taliban-led insurgency. The insurgency (Taliban and other groups) remain resilient.
Civilians are the regular victims of fighting and bomb blasts inside Kabul and other provinces. Moreover, the current reports indicate that the situation remains deteriorated, that is upsetting the peace and development process.
Taliban’s steady and deadliest attacks on most guarded parts of Kabul indicate that they are growing in their tactics and getting closer to their targets. Many analysts and policy makers have reached the conclusion that the war has reached a stalemate and that Afghanistan’s future stability seems to be ambiguous, it has ever witnessed. A political reconciliation with Taliban may not be the conclusion to the ongoing bloodshed and yet the government has no major achievement in this process.
In one of their recent deadly attacks, the Taliban militants detonated a car bomb at the gates of the Kabul traffic police headquarters early Monday, January 22, and stormed the compound, setting off a six-hour gun battle with security forces in which more than eight traffic police died and more than 12 were injured. It was the second brazen raid inside the Afghan capital in less than a week, a sign that the insurgency is determined to keep carrying out such attacks even as the U.S. and Afghan governments try to entice the Taliban into holding peace talks.
Few days earlier than the attack mentioned above, six Taliban suicide bombers attacked the gates of the Afghan intelligence agency in downtown Kabul, killing one guard and wounding dozens of civilians. The insurgents carried out the attack by driving a minivan loaded with explosives into a gate of the intelligence agency compound in the capital at noon. The other five attackers wearing suicide vests were in a second minivan that was also loaded with explosives.
The attacks came as the Afghan government has been pushing to get the Taliban to the negotiating table for peace and brotherhood. Their sick intentions and acts of violence seek no peace to take form until their demands are not fulfilled. Several Taliban leaders have been removed from the blacklist at Kabul’s request as a possible overture to negotiations, including dozens of most other dangerous fighters. Still there is no guarantee that they will even hold a peace talk after their all demands are fulfilled.
The recent reports indicate that the talks between the Afghan government and Taliban were only an excuse to the release of the Taliban detainees. It further adds that the Taliban insurgents have no respect of the peace talks at all. The increase in bloodshed recently in which dozens of innocent citizens in various parts of Kabul are being killed indicates that fulfilling their demands pushes no justice for peace. Their ongoing release further created horror and instability in the country. Their persistent release only increased the level of suicide attacks and bloodshed in the region. The process did not succeed to bestow better security situation. The political analysts believe that the release of the Taliban prisoners is only to replace disobedient commanders on the battlefield.
So far, what is still absent is an agreed framework or coherent peace process that can lay the basis for serious negotiations between Pakistani government officials and Karzai administration. In fact, the people are not clearly in the picture that what is really going on between the Afghan government and Taliban. It is still a question by Afghan people if their release may really bring permanent peace and stability.
However, the current ground reality is very complicated to comprehend that what the government is really doing for this so-called peace. Differences have continued on what this should be called. Such situation has so far created tensions between Pak-Afghan officials about Pakistan’s main role in creating an atmosphere for holding peace talks with the Taliban. The current report says that Pakistan has also recently refused to release the Taliban prisoners named by the Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC). In this regard, some Kabul-based political commentators alleged on Wednesday that Pakistan should not sit back in helping establishing peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is still believed to end the Afghan war.
It happens when the Pakistani government officials announced last week that Pakistan planned to release all Taliban prisoners, including the group’s second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. The country released 26 Taliban inmates over the past two months, wining applause from Kabul and the High Peace Council. The fact is, the release of the Taliban may be of claim that it will help hold a peace talk with the Taliban for the cease fire, but it is very uncertain that the Afghan conflict can end as per the current ground realities. The deadliest Taliban suicide attacks in various parts of the country cause pessimistic view of the peace process or any form of negotiation in which they could call to end this killing and horror.
The knowledge of their terror attacks will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. No one can ever hope the Taliban could ever change their mind for peace.
Above all, the critics in turn say that President Karzai should be stronger in his condemnation of the Taliban’s role in pushing up the country’s civilian casualty toll and worsen security situation. Insurgents are now responsible for more than three-quarters of the civilian casualties within the country, including for all destruction and bloodshed. If there is little respect for the beloved family members of these war-torn country who have been killed by these insurgents, in suicide attacks and in other forms of violence, they must be brought to justice instead of releasing for creating further violence and bloodshed in the country. This shows government’s shortcoming while they prepare for their killings and the government welcomes with warmest possible hugs by overlooking the toll of the deaths that they have given us so far.
Abdul Samad Haidari is a writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.