Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Kunduz City Dominated by Taliban, Again!

Different sources confirmed yesterday that after a threatening attack by Taliban in northern Kunduz province, Taliban militants entered the capital of the province and they captured the city’s main square, raising their white flags. News reports revealed that one person was killed and 35 people including civilians and security forces were wounded after the insurgents stormed Kunduz city from four directions. The attacking rebels captured several security posts. Some photos on social media also showed Taliban reaching the main square in the province and raising their flags. However, the Ministry of Defence said security forces were in control of the strategic urban center.
Meanwhile, Governor Asadullah Amarkhel told a press conference, yesterday afternoon, that the Taliban attack on the provincial capital had been pushed back and normalcy had returned to the city.  He said the attack on Kunduz city followed an operation security forces conducted a few days ago in Aqtash, Dasht-i-Archi, Qala-i-Zal districts, inflicting casualties on insurgents and driving them away from some areas.
Taliban seem to have intensified their attacks as the Afghan government authorities are preparing for Brussels Summit, where they are expected to demand more support and assistance for Afghanistan. Definitely, security would be the most dominant issue in the Conference and Taliban want to give the impression that they have their dominancy in certain parts of the country. And, to a certain extent, the facts and figures favor their claim. There are certain parts of the country that are totally under their control and now they have claimed that their targets would be the provincial capitals, where mostly Afghan security forces have their dominance.
National Unity Government (NUG) would be faced with great difficulties while defending itself in Brussels as there are not many achievements on its chest. Since the formation of NUG, there has not been any improvement in security and many other sectors still suffer from lack of attention. As a matter of fact, the arrangements to tackle the security situation are not up to the mark. The government authorities do not see eye to eye with each other regarding the security situation and the measures to control it. As there is no guideline or consensus on the higher level, the operational teams are not sure about what sort of steps they have to take. In most of the cases, they respond only after the insurgents attack somewhere. They, in short, have only a defensive mechanism to follow.
The security situation in the country demands that there should be a comprehensive strategy. The complex networks of the terrorists and their growth and expansion cannot be eradicated only through defensive approach. The security authorities must develop an approach where they are able to press the insurgents and bring them to the point where they understand that there is no solution through violence and terrorism and they should come to negotiation table. Without being dominated by the Afghan security forces, it is very difficult that Taliban insurgents get ready for any sort of negotiation.
The confused and incoherent security arrangements by the government, at a time when the country is going through the most challenging security situation, have been criticized by different analysts. They have said that though the government has made several promises over the past six months to eliminate insurgents and clear areas under their control, the presence of militants and their activities reveal that Kabul’s security plans are mostly symbolic.
There are many provinces in the country that were once far away from insurgency but now they are seriously threatened by Taliban. Since, Afghan security forces have shouldered the responsibility of security, they have faced serious challenges. There is no doubt in the fact that they have the capability to defeat the insurgents, but the problems is the lack of a comprehensive and practicable strategy. The higher ranks of the government and security personnel themselves are not sure about how to handle the situation. Their overall stance against insurgency is non-coherent and lack a true vision. They are not sure where they want to go; whether they want a negotiation with Taliban through military offensive so that the insurgents are compelled to come to the negotiation table or they want to adopt a defensive mechanism only to respond after the attacks of the insurgents.
Moreover, they are not sure about how to coordinate the different fights that are taking place in different parts of the country. The insurgency in the country has turned complex, with ISIS posing even more threats. The different Taliban factions have different ways of fighting with the government. And, the main issue in such circumstances is that different authorities themselves are not on the same page on how to face the situation. Therefore, the government needs to design a clear strategy, involve all the authorities in the decision making and improve the coordination. Only a clear, united and well-coordinated approach can defeat the insurgents in today’s situation.