Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 17th, 2018

Kabul Targeted by a Colossal Attack

In a threatening attack, a truck bomb was detonated at the entrance of the Green Zone at Zanbaq Square in Kabul city on Wednesday morning. The attack was so massive that it took the lives of at least 90 people and injured around 461 others. Moreover, it brought havoc to the buildings nearby. According to statement by Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), the private sector suffered nearly $10 million in damages following the attack. Moreover, ACCI deputy chief, Khan Jan Alokozai, said, “Besides the financial losses inflicted on the private sector as a result of the attack, the majority of those killed and wounded were part of the work force who were working at banks, hospitals and private companies. This is a great loss for the private sector.”
This attack was really cowardly as it targeted the innocent civilians and brought destruction to the offices and buildings where mostly the civilians worked. In addition, it was carried out in the holy month of Ramadan, which is considered as the month of virtue and goodwill. Though Taliban have denied the responsibility for the attack, there are possibilities that the attack might have been carried out by Islamic State or Daesh.  
Only a few weeks earlier, a convoy of foreign troops was targeted by a suicide bomber in Kabul. As a result of the attack, eight civilians were killed and at least 24 others were wounded. The attack was claimed by Daesh. The attacks by Daesh have now become frequent in Afghanistan, particularly, in capital Kabul. Only few months earlier, Afghan officials used to deny that Daesh had stronghold in Afghanistan, but the consecutive and large-scale attacks by Daesh insurgents clearly depict that those denials were based on no authentic information. Now, the officials are not even in the position to deny the fact that Daesh is getting stronger in Afghanistan and that points towards a very bleak future as far as security and stability are concerned.
Not long ago an attack on 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters was carried out by Daesh in Balkh, wherein around 150 soldiers were killed. Moreover, Kabul, itself, has not yet forgotten the brutal attack on Army Hospital that took the lives of many Afghan soldiers. In fact, the statistics show that Afghan people and Afghan security forces have been facing a larger number of casualties since the drawdown of international forces.
The dual threats of Daesh and Taliban have created major security challenges for Afghan security forces, this year as well. Since Taliban have also announced their spring offensive, the coming few months would be really tough for Afghan forces and people. Therefore, it is really imperative that they get fully prepared to face any sort of situation. Moreover, they will try to strengthen their positions in different parts of country.
SIGAR’s earlier analysis of the data provided by U.S Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) suggested that the security situation in Afghanistan had not improved. The numbers of Afghan security forces were decreasing, while both casualties and the number of districts under insurgent control or influence were increasing. Of the 407 districts of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, 233 districts were under government control (83 districts) or influence (150), 41 districts (in 15 provinces) were under insurgent control (9) or influence (32), and 133 districts were “contested.”
The data clearly shows that the nature of insecurity would be threatening for Afghan government and security forces this year as well. Taliban and Daesh, among other insurgents, have already increased their activities. There are fears among the people in Afghanistan that their lives would once again be influenced badly by the wave of terrorism and insurgency. After the downfall of Taliban, Afghan people had hoped that their lives would change and the circumstances would lead towards a better and peaceful future, but the last few years have pointed towards worsening security situation.
The response of the government in the face of the rising insecurity is really lethargic. It has been largely influenced by the differences that prevail within the ranks of National Unity Government (NUG) regarding the approach that has to be adopted against the situation. The members of NUG see the issue with different perspectives and are not ready to cooperate with each other in designing a comprehensive and unanimous policy to tackle the situation. This has led to misunderstandings and ambiguities in the war against terrorism on operational level as well.
Afghan government, therefore, has to get united and strive to control the situation properly. It needs to understand that as a result of decades of instability and socio-economic and political problems, the Afghan people have been suffering from myriads of problems. Coupled with the issue of insecurity, there are some very concerning issues that exist in our society and threaten the lives of the common people of Afghanistan.
Afghan government must therefore get serious in tackling the issue of the insecurity and strive to protect valuable human resource. ANDSF are vital for the peace and tranquility of the country. Though their profession requires them to be on the forefront of the war, proper strategic planning by the government officials can support them in achieving peace without having to lose many valuable lives. Moreover, proper strategies can assist the government in building its legitimacy and gaining support among the people, who otherwise seem to have lost their hopes about a tranquil and prosperous future.