Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Unanswered Questions on the Kabul Attacks

The US Ambassador to Islamabad, Cameron Munter has said there are doubts that the Haqqani Network has links with state of Pakistan. Actually it is not a new accusation, nor has the US Ambassador quoted it for the first time. In the last couple of years, whenever there has been a sophisticated attack by the Taliban militants in Kabul, fingers have been pointed towards the Haqqani Network.

Similarly, after the recent Kabul attack when a group of six Taliban suicide bombers besieged the area around the US Embassy, ISAF Headquarters, western embassies and the Presidential Palace; there has been in-depth analysis of the attack and reporting by media, but the version that the Government sells, is apparently enforced in the minds of people and prominent on editorial pages.

A day after the attack, officials of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) has been saying that the attackers were taking orders from North Waziristan. The press conference by NDS officials seemed more like an initial report, examining the nature of the attack and assessing damages.

Even if we are to believe their story, there is a big question that remains unanswered. If NDS claims that the attackers were taking minute-by-minute direction from North Waziristan, why they do not trace the calls of those with whom the militants were talking, and then fire drone missiles? Isn't it the way to simply escape from their responsibility, or hiding their failures? The other important question is, how could a group of suicide bombers enter the parameter of Kabul's so-called "Green Zone" in a highly restricted area where the US Embassy, ISAF Headquarters, western missions, Kabul Airport and the Presidential Palace are located?

Kabul Attack was one of the worst security lapses on behalf of the National Directorate of Security and Afghan Police. It is very concerning of their performance in Kabul, when a group of suicide bombers with weapons come to the center of the city crossing all security check posts and reaches the Abdul Haq Square. Indeed those police and other security officials who sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorists that day, deserve our best tributes, but it doesn't mean we have to ignore all the lapse and shortcomings of the duty of NDS and Police leaders.

Many lawmakers in Lower House of the Parliament demanded resignation of the security officials, including Defense and Interior ministers. They have done it before, and will do it after this incident, but President Karzai is not going to give it any importance.

On the other hand, US officials in Washington, Islamabad and Kabul have giving tough statements, but its not going to work, since they have done it so many times during the last ten years of the war on terror in this region. They have to make the highest pressure on Islamabad for an operation in North Waziristan.

It is interesting that right after the Kabul Attacks, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the chief of Haqqani Network gave an interview saying their sanctuaries are no more in Pakistan, rather they feel more secure in Afghanistan.

It came up after the statements of US officials in Washington and Islamabad talking about ties of the Haqqani Network with Pakistani state. Now one can understand why Siraj Haqqani suddenly popped up in media and gave an interview, interestingly showing interest in the talks, as well as saying they are no more in Pakistan. Does it give Islamabad an excuse not to launch a military operation in North Waziristan?