Afghan civil war is taking a dangerous turn

Published on – October 23, 2017 – 7:00 am
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QUETTA: In less than 24 hours, there were three suicide attacks leaving more than 200 people dead in Afghanistan sending an alarm in the whole region. Is Afghanistan is travelling fast towards anarchy or complete collapse of the Afghan State? Political observers are asking the only pertinent question.


QUETTA: In less than 24 hours, there were three suicide attacks leaving more than 200 people dead in Afghanistan sending an alarm in the whole region. Is Afghanistan is travelling fast towards anarchy or complete collapse of the Afghan State? Political observers are asking the only pertinent question.

In any case, experts rule out the possibility of Taliban foot soldiers taking over the country once again. The recent bombing wave from the air had destroyed their dream to rule Afghanistan in foreseeable future.

The attacks were carried out at the mosques and army installations and military camps or on convoys. The most deadly attack was carried out at a garrison in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan leaving more than 71 people dead. During the past one week, there were more deadly suicide attacks in Kabul and elsewhere and even the Airport was targeted with random rocket fire.

Most of the terror attacks were carried out by Taliban while the Shia mosques were attacked by the Islamic State or Daesh in Kabul and Ghor Province leaving a large number of people killed while offering prayers.

The Afghan Government or Afghan intellectuals are yet to come out to explain the recent upsurge in terror attacks. Presumably, it was the formal announcement from the United States Administration that its forces and allies will remain in Afghanistan for an indefinite period. Thus there is no deadline for withdrawal of US or foreign forces from Afghanistan. Thus the fight will continue till end.

More probably, the Afghan Air Force had become more effective in carrying out deadly air raids on the Taliban and Daesh positions all over Afghanistan, particularly the borders with Pakistan. Possibly, it made the Taliban and Daesh elements in the Afghan civil war more desperate in carrying out more frequent and deadly attacks on Afghan military installations or the moving military convoys.

There were speculations that some improvement in the Afghan situation will take place when Mr. Hekmatyar will abandon his militancy and join the mainstream politics of Afghanistan. But there was no change in the level of fighting or terrorist attacks on Government installations. Hekmatyar failed to leave an impact in Afghan politics. It seems that he is irrelevant in Afghan politics.

The Taliban militants had ignored and rejected it with full contempt the repeated calls from the Afghan President to join the peace process and lay down their arms and join the mainstream politics or share power with the Afghanistan. They had shown interest in taking over absolute power and form a Taliban Government in Kabul once again.

President Trump had made public his new Afghan policy in which he had given more powers to the local US commanders to take decisions on the spot without referring to Pentagon. It will be the local US commanders deciding about the number of US troops in Afghanistan. At the same time, the office of Afghanistan-Pakistan affairs had been closed down giving more powers to military commanders to take decisions.

The Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson, is on a 8-day tour of South Asia and West Asia discussing the situation with the national leaders in Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan seeking solutions to many regional conflicts, primarily Afghanistan. Mr. Tillerson is scheduled to visit Pakistan on Oct 24.

In Saudi Arabia, he is expected to discuss Iran, the Qatar and Yemen crises while in India and Pakistan he is expected to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries, Pakistan’s help to solve the Afghan problem on permanent basis and making assessment about the possible support to US Iran policy.

There are bleak chances that Pakistan extending any support to US on its Iran policy. However, Pakistan may continue to offer its assistance to bring the Afghan situation back to normal or help contain the crisis from further spreading or engulfing the whole region.

In order to contain the Afghan civil war within the Afghan border and prevent it from spreading to Pakistan, Islamabad is fencing the border ensuring that there is no cross border movement of terrorists. With effective border management, Pakistan had been successful in curtailing the movement of people to a great extent.

Pakistan had made a significant offer to cooperate with Afghanistan and the international force about joint operation on any credible information. There is cold response from the US and Afghanistan to this significant offer making the situation confuse as to why there is a resistance to such a generous offer.

However, the upsurge in fighting in the Afghan civil war is sending alarm that it may further spread and make life insecure inside Afghanistan and once again millions of refugees invade Pakistan and Iran for security, shelter and food.

There is a serious concern among the local people on the situation in Afghanistan seeking early international intervention to bring the situation under control.

It is a fact that violence is spreading in Afghanistan and more and more Government territory is being lost to the Taliban foot soldiers sending danger signals to the regional countries, mainly Pakistan and Iran, about regional security and stability.