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

The Fall of Kunduz and Government’s Response

Last time when Kunduz was taken back from Taliban, the government officials made commitments to the people of Kunduz that their security would be guaranteed and Taliban would never be allowed to take control of Kunduz city again. However, their commitments proved to be empty promises and few days earlier Taliban were able to take control of the city again and it is still under their control. And, this time when the city was taken by Taliban, it was again promised that soon they will be repelled and security would be restored; however, that remains only a hollow claim.
A member of Kunduz’s provincial council, Assadullah Sadat, recently said in an interview, "I want to convey my message to the president whom we consider as our grandfather - the president promised the people of Kunduz that the province will not collapse again (after October last year). He said the person who I appointed as governor will improve your security."
In fact, the basic problem is the absence of a comprehensive strategy regarding security. It can be observed that Afghan security forces mostly react to the assaults and operations carried out by Taliban. Though they should be proactive enough to make preparations before such assaults and operations are carried out. These assaults by Taliban are not something on a small scale that cannot be observed before they happen. They require preparedness and logistic movements, which take place long before the assaults are carried out and Afghan security forces and intelligence agency should be in a position to detect all these preparations and movements and act proactively. However, that can happen when there is a proper strategy in place, not a mechanism that runs on ad-hoc basis.
Moreover, it is also important in such cases that the authorities should understand their responsibilities and they should know what they have to do. They, in many cases, seem so unprepared as if they have forgotten their duties. In some cases, as can be observed nowadays, they keep on blaming each other or avoid responsibilities in awkward ways. Like the governor of Kunduz, Assadullah Omarkhail, who said in a recent statement that the death toll during the war in Kunduz was part of a divine order. He also blamed past action by security officials as the reason of the fall of Kunduz city, particularly that of deputy chief of staff for the army, General Murad Ali Murad. Meanwhile, Murad, has said that he will soon disclose the names of those who allegedly played a role in the current crisis. He said in a statement, "Some elements which have played a role in the siege of Kunduz, I will share (their names) with the people of Kunduz; if anyone stops standing by the Kunduz people, they are making big mistakes."
However, on Monday, President Ashraf Ghani dismissed Omarkhail's remarks and said no official should justify their failures and inactions in this way. "No government official has the right to justify their inactions and failures by misinterpreting a religious perception and fate," said Ghani.
The sort of statement given by Omarkhail clearly shows that the government officials are really desperate and they do not know how to tackle the issue properly. They do not have any strategic plan that they should take guidance from and, therefore, they seem to have nothing to say.
Chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS), Masoom Stanekzai, however, showed more responsibility by apologizing to the people of Kunduz over security forces’ failure to thwart Taliban attack. "We apologize to the people of Kunduz, I think we all must offer an apology, because we failed to do our work in a way that could help prevent the event," said Stanekzai, referring to the attack.‎ ‎This apology means a lot to the people of Kunduz in particular and to the people of Afghanistan in general; however, that has to be followed by corrective measures now and there should be proactive measures in place in future to detect such attacks before they happen.
Some of the MPs, however, did not seem contented with the response given by the security officials and they called on the leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG) to resign from their posts due to the ongoing situation in Kunduz city and the political rift between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
Former minister of finance, Anwarul Haq Ahadi said, "They (government leaders) have no achievements to offer and fail to tackle the issues, but they do not have the courage to confess to their failure; if they accept it, they must step down, therefore they want to ignore the issues."
Many have highlighted that the present situation wherein the government is not able to do anything worthwhile is because of the rift between the President and CEO. This rift is also the reason of why they have not been able to come together and form a uniform and proper strategy to tackle with the issue of insecurity.