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Criticisms on the Government’s Taliban Policy

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With the height of terrorist attacks of the Taliban militants, public anger has been growing recently over Afghan government’s policies towards the Taliban. As the next month presidential election is approaching, the level of violence has seen a sharp rise with the militants organizing brazen attacks in Kabul and elsewhere. The killing of the AFP journalist last week along with his children has sparked widespread condemnations from Afghans particularly the media community and the young generation. With the blind attacks intensifying, the Afghan government is coming under extreme pressures to end its vague policy towards the Taliban and the peace process. There are raising voices calling on President Karzai to denounce Taliban’s atrocities. In his latest remarks on the peace efforts, Karzai expressed optimisms over Taliban’s approach to peace, saying the militants wanted peace.

Lately, a New York Times report also said Karzai had been secretly in contact with the Taliban in recent months. In his speech to an opening ceremony for the new academic year, President Karzai refrained to directly denounce the Taliban’s recent atrocities. The President’s refusal to openly the Taliban as terrorists has angered most of Afghans who believe that the government’s leniency towards the militant groups does not help peace and security in Afghanistan. The Afghan media advocacy organization, NAI, criticized the government of its vague policies towards the Taliban, saying it has created confusions among the media over the government’s formal policy against the terrorists.

The increasing public calls on the government to denounce the Taliban as a terror group is putting increasing pressurizes on the government of Afghanistan and President Hamid Karzai and criticizes his peace efforts with the Taliban. More importantly, it will pin the national focus on atrocities which the Taliban commit on daily basis. In recent months, there has been growing antipathy among the public over Taliban’s continued atrocities and Karzai’s insistence of calling the militants as ‘disgruntled brothers’. The move by the journalists would help building a more coherent stance from the mainstream against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

with the election approaching, the Taliban are intentionally waging a bitter war on innocent civilians aimed at preventing them from voting. It suggests that the Taliban are determined to disrupt the upcoming presidential election. The horrifying issue is that in contrast to any international laws, the Taliban seem to deliberately target the civilians, possibly with the aim to cower the people from going to polling stations. The intensification of violence by the Taliban needs a widespread and extensive response from the whole society and the religious figures. If this happens, it will build a public pressure against the insurgent groups.

The government must heed public demand for denouncing the Taliban and stop arbitrary release of Taliban prisoners. On the other hand, for sake of the civilian’s safety, the Taliban must commit to protecting civilians and avoid committing violence against non-combatants. The government of Afghanistan needs to test another option against the Taliban: to lead a robust fight along with the peace efforts.

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