Election Impasse Unhelpful for the Security Situation
Amidst the election stalemate, the militant groups are increasingly stepping up their attacks across the country. The Taliban clearly aim to further destabilize the country while it is experiencing two important transitions: military transition from NATO to Afghan forces and political transition through the ongoing election which is almost deadlocked now. On Tuesday, the militants who organized the bombing on a NATO forces’ convoy managed to kill three foreign forces in the attack. It was one of the heaviest tolls of foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan since their number quickly declined within one last year.
The Taliban waged a deadly campaign of violence in many provinces in recent months. The Ghazni bombing left the city devastated and the nation shocked. Another bombing some months before in Orgun district left around ninety people dead and hundreds injured. The militants handpicked passengers from a bus travelling to the central Daikoni province and killed them after lining them up. Aside from such bombings and suicide attacks across the country, the Taliban attempted to gain territory on the ground as the commotion over the election went on between the stakeholders of the process. However, Taliban’s failure to gain territories in Sangin and Hesarak districts of Helmand and Nangarhar boosted confidence over the ability of the Afghan security forces.
The sudden surge of violence across the country in recent months has been directly connected to the problematic presidential elections in the country. The setbacks in the process boosted Taliban’s morale on the ground and encouraged the militants’ leaders in their safe havens to exploit the deadlocked election and the aftermaths of the election crisis. With the election slipping in further crisis during last months, the insurgents quickly managed to organize an extensive violence across the country. The prolonged election finally emerged not only a potential security threat for the country but it also resulted to economic stagnancy in the country.
Lack of resolute leadership of Afghan security forces in the fight against terrorist groups was another factor behind the sharp rise of violence and Taliban activities. Defying widespread public outrage and criticisms from the political class, president Karzai kept on with his lenient approaches towards the Taliban. He remained persistent in releasing Taliban prisoners despite that some of them were considered too dangerous for public security and the security forces battling on the ground. Dismissing demands of his security officials, Karzai banned Afghan forces of using what was termed as excessive force in residential areas as well as aerial support during engagement with the Taliban fighters. All these policies resulted to increasing alienation of the core leadership of security forces leading the campaign against the militants. Fed up with Karzai’s approach, some of the army and police officials publicly told they directed their forces to kill the militants on the scene and not to take them alive as prisoners.
The recent wave of attacks predicts the fragile state of security in the coming months. As the election is dragging on and the NATO is increasingly uneasy with the uncertainty over the crucial security pact between Afghanistan and the US, the security situation may further deteriorate unless Afghan leaders manages to quickly resolve the political crisis and take actions for boosting security.