Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

A Surge in Terrorist Attacks Breeds Mistrust

Terrorist networks have intensified their attacks around the globe inflicting heavy casualties on combatants and non-combatants alike. The recent surge in global terror attacks began on May 22 when Manchester Arena came under terrorist attack. Twenty-two people, mostly women and young girls, were killed and more than 100 others were wounded in the attack.
On May 26, 2017, masked gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying Copts from Maghagha in Egypt’s Minya Governorate to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, killing at least 28 people and injuring 22 others.
In April, the Islamic State group bombed two churches in the northern cities of Tanta and Alexandria as Coptic Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency afterward.
The Iraqi capital was rocked by a series of bombings that left 38 people dead and over 60 wounded. Similarly, a nighttime attack outside an ice cream parlor in the bustling Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada killed 17 people and wounded 32. Many other deadly attacks occurred in Iraq.
On May 31, a suicide attacker struck the fortified heart of the Afghan capital of Kabul with a massive truck bomb that killed about 150 people, wounded some 400 and raised fears about the government’s ability to protect its citizens nearly 16 years into a war with insurgents. The bomber drove into Kabul’s heavily guarded diplomatic quarter during the morning rush hour, leaving behind a bloody scene of chaos and destruction in one of the worst attacks since the drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
A series of attacks happened in funeral ceremony, mosques and public places in the holy month of Ramadan in June which filled the air with a strong sense of fear and mistrust. The public protested against the government as a result of insecurity that also led to clash between police and the protesters.
What is more disappointing is when the US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said that the US had no strategy to end the deadlock in Afghanistan. “After nearly 16 years of war, we are at a stalemate in Afghanistan. Worse, we have no strategy to end that stalemate and achieve victory,” McCain is cited as saying about a week ago.
In 2001, the United States and its NATO allies launched a war on Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks. That mission formally ended on December 28, 2014. However, on January 1, 2015, NATO announced a new mission in the country, called Resolute Support, to train and assist Afghan security forces. Despite all these facts, militancy continue unabated inflicting heavy casualties upon nation.
Worst of all, a spate of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan led to tension among the officials. Some political figures spoke harshly against the presidential place. Lately, Leaders from three Afghan political parties, including Jamiat-e-Islami party, Junbish-e-Milli party and Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party, have agreed to form a new coalition. These parties are led by Afghan acting minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and the second deputy of the CEO Mohammad Mohaqqiq and Balkh Governor Atta Muhammad Noor.
Although the leaders of these three parties are high-ranking officials in the National Unity Government (NUG), they formed a coalition for feeling to be marginalized or neglected. Dostum had raised his voice persistently against not being given the authority of First Vice President. Moreover, a tension emerged between him and the court, which is the judiciary power of the government, after being accused of a criminal case. He escaped the legal demand. Recently, the Second Deputy of the CEO spoke harshly about the presidential palace and the gap being widened between the government and nation.
The new coalition of the three aforementioned parties reflects the emerging rift between the officials. It is likely to trigger a strong sense of mistrust among Afghan nation. The people were of the view that the officials will stand with the presidential palace in the Unity Government for the national security and well-being and the escalated insurgency might bridge the gap between them. Although the presidential palace has welcomed this coalition since it has a cooperative objective, the nation will still view this movement in conflict with the spirit of unity.
Currently the entire world is wrestling with the issue of terrorism but the high vulnerability of Afghanistan is beyond doubt. All states will have to adopt an effective mechanism both individually and collectively to eradicate terrorist networks and destroy their pillars. National unity and international cooperation are the first and foremost step in tackling the issue. When there is mistrust in the government’s apparatus or a gap between state and nation, addressing insecurity will be extremely difficult – as it has been proved in Afghanistan.