Among the pieces of news regarding the deterioration of security in the country, another news item shocked the people. According to a statement by Mirza Rahimi, the provincial governor of southern Helmand province, 65 Afghan security force members including three commanders surrendered to Taliban in Sangin district.
He said in a press conference on Friday that in the past month more than 200 Taliban insurgents were killed and injured and around 85 Afghan security forces and three civilians were killed in the clashes. He, however, claimed that more troops had arrived and military operations were started in Marjah district and the forces had re-taken control of most of the areas which were under control of insurgents but clashes continued.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD), however, rejected the reports that 65 security force members had surrendered to the Taliban in Sangin district in southern Helmand province, arguing that a number of army troops might have been captured by insurgents.
MoD spokesman said in a statement, “Our troops will never surrender to the enemy… There might be some problems. This is war. Moving forward and backwards, defending and leaving strongholds (tactically) can happen in war and the troops are allowed to do this when required.”
Even if the reports regarding the surrender of the troops to Taliban are wrong; the reports of the rising insecurity in different parts of the country is not false. There are certain districts that have completely fallen to Taliban and Taliban in the recent months have shown that they have the capacity to threaten Afghan security arrangements to a large extent. In such a scenario it is really important to see how the concerned authorities in the country perform.
It depends largely on how Afghan authorities will deal with the circumstances ahead. At this crucial juncture when the Western allies do not have many options but to leave the country and the regional countries are very much interested in pursuing their own interests, the Afghan government does not have any other option but to be more responsible and deal with the situation on its own.
Afghan government can adopt a clear policy regarding the reconciliation process in the country. By continuing to invite Taliban for peace talks would not solve the issue easily. Taliban, even after very welcoming remarks have denied to take initiative regarding talks with the government. In fact, they, as a response, have continued violence and terrorism, while Afghan government apart from welcoming them has not been able to offer anything else. It is not necessary that Afghan government must pursue the issue militarily but they have to come up with a practical policy regarding the issue.
At the same time, Afghan government can revise its relations with the neighboring countries so that they should be improved. It is correct that neighboring countries have not fulfilled much as far as their responsibilities are concerned, yet Afghan government has to bring about innovations and flexibility and diplomatic prudence in its approach towards them.
Afghan government has to keep in consideration as well that as a result of decades of instability and socio-economic and political problems, the Afghan people have been suffering from myriads of problems. Though there have been certain important improvements made in the last decade or so, some very concerning issues still exist that threaten the lives of the common people of Afghanistan. There are claims that changes have been brought within Afghan society; however, it should be noted that if the effectiveness of the changes have to be felt or observed, they should be observed by the changes in the lives of the common people. If there is any change in the condition of living of the common people as the outcome of the change; the change should be guarded for and even backed and supported vehemently. If not, either the claim must be discarded as wrong or the efforts should be improved to make the changes effective. And that is what Afghanistan needs to do – it has to improve its efforts to bring about necessary changes in the lives of the common people that have been jeopardized both by insecurity and lack of rudimentary requirements of life.
Coupled with insecurity, there are many other problems as well that haunt Afghan people’s lives. Some of the problems are directly linked to insecurity; like, people are not able to have access to health and other facilities of life. Moreover, development works to improve the standard of living of the common people are not carried out because of the security threats, thus the desired objectives are not attained in this regard. People, in some parts of the country, are not able to have access to education as well. Schools are shut by force and the school going children are irritated.
While living in a state, the people expect and expect rightly that they should be provided their basic requirements of life by the state and the government. In the modern concept of state, protecting the basic rights of the people and providing them the requirements to live a better life are considered as the basic functions of a state. The government of Afghanistan, therefore, needs to make sure that the common people of Afghanistan are provided a secure life along with basic requirements like food, cloth, shelter, education, health facilities and job opportunities.