Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 18th, 2019

Replete With Anxiety

Over the last few weeks, security transition in Afghanistan has brought about a sense of ambiguity on future of the mission here. For Afghan government and its allies, it is a clear sign of achievement in fight against terrorism. But for terrorists, it is the beginning of the end of a democratic system in the country. With increasing attacks by Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives across the country and the highly fragile security here, there looms a murky future for the country and the region. However, Afghan government pretends rise in Taliban attacks demonstrate their willingness to lay down arms.

The United States of America, Afghanistan's major ally that remain the biggest contributor to reconstruction process here, is hardly grappling with economic pressures and huge debts while Afghanistan remains weaker than ever to run the job on its own. External intrusions and Taliban's pervasive influence across western Afghanistan serve as sword of Damocles for president Karzai government. In view of such threats, the mission seems too difficult to get accomplished once international community abandons the country in this chaotic status. However, Obama's administration frequently assures Afghanistan of its continued support.

In a telephone conversation following tragic incident of a US Chinook crash that claimed lives of more than thirty American service members and 7 Afghan army commandoes in restive Maidan Wardak, US President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai reaffirmed their commitment to the mission in Afghanistan. The major account in the decade-long fight against terrorism is the security transition process that was kickstarted few weeks ago. Nonetheless, Al-Qaeda and its allied groups treat the move as a result of their holy war against US and Afghan government. They celebrate the withdrawal and call it the end of US occupation.

Reports revealed on Tuesday that an audiotape message purportedly from Al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has praised Muslims for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. Posted overnight on Islamist websites, the message says, "The US will go the way of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan". Irrespective of how serious the message appears, Afghan government and international community should never overlook consequences of a premature withdrawal that will lead to a chaotic situation here. Intensifying attacks and feeble government responses and the hasty calls for withdrawal indicate a critical juncture in Afghanistan that may either bring about the second 1990's or turn Afghanistan to a stable, democratic and developed country.