The Hands behind Orgun Bombing
By: Abdul Maruf ‘Ghiasee’
Afghan officials blamed the Haqqani Network of masterminding and carrying out the Tuesday’s massive bomb attack in Orgun district of Paktika province. According to the Afghan intelligence officials, the Haqqani militants planned the attack in Miran Shah of Pakistan where a comprehensive military operation by Pakistani military is underway. Unnamed Afghan intelligence official has accused Pakistani of letting the so-called ‘good Taliban, a reference to Afghan Taliban operating on Pakistani soil, to escape the operation. The bombing in Paktika province left, as some officials said, about 90 people dead and dozens of other injured. On Friday, President Hamid Karzai paid a visit there and visited with the victims and the families of those killed in the attack. No party has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far.
However, Haqqani’s are blamed for the bombing given intelligence evidences and the militant group’s influence in Paktika and other eastern provinces. The Haqqani network is the most ruthless and aggressive Taliban group that is organizing attacks against Afghan government’s interests. In the past, it has masterminded brazen attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in the provinces. The Afghan intelligence officials believe, given all the hallmarks of the attack in Orgun, the Haqqanis are blamed for masterminding and carrying it out. Paktika and other eastern provinces are the ground for Haqqani offensives and while the Pakistani military is pushing a crackdown in Waziristan, the militants are these days pouring in Afghanistan as part of the massive displacement of the ordinary Pakistani citizens escaping the offensive.
Pakistani intelligence and army have long provided shelter and safe havens to the anti-Afghanistan elements of the militants in the northern tribal areas of the country. Though Pakistan has always denied Afghanistan’s claims over use of Pakistani soil by the Taliban, most of brazen and high-profile attacks carried out on Kabul and many other provinces are believed to be planned in the country’s northwestern tribal areas of Waziristan. Given the Pakistani approach towards the so-called ‘bad and good Taliban’, it is expected also this time Islamabad would spare the anti-Afghan Taliban affiliated groups in Waziristan. Pakistan, on its part, accuses Afghanistan of providing safe haven to Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders in eastern border provinces of Afghanistan.
Though the Pakistani officials have said they are not exempting any Taliban affiliated group in the North Waziristan from the massive crackdown, it is wildly believed among analysts that Pakistani is discriminating in the crackdown of the Pakistani Taliban’s different anti and pro Pakistan outfits. The Pakistani army insists that all insurgents will be targeted and says hundreds of them have been killed so far, Afghan officials say the Pakistani army is helping the anti-Afghan Taliban to escape the operation.
As the anti-Taliban crackdown of Pakistani army is going on in North Waziristan, the Afghan military agencies need to tighten security across border crossings between the two countries. This particularly important as the militants are escaping the offensive in North Waziristan and enter Afghanistan along with civilian population of the region. These members will pose higher risks for Afghanistan if the government of Afghanistan fails to take strict measures for boosting security in eastern provinces.
Abdul Maruf ‘Ghiasee’ is editor in chief of Afghanistan express, social and peace activist.