Both NATO forces in Afghanistan and the insurgents have announced the beginning of prospective violence across the country. Just a day after the Taliban militants announced, through a statement, the beginning of spring offensive, a 12-year-old suicide bomber killed four people and wounded a dozen in eastern province of Paktika.
This is a rare incident to see children used in carrying out the suicide attacks, which lead to civilian casualties and it shows the violence of Taliban thinking but unfortunately the government has lost its mobilizing strength to question the Taliban line of thinking, which runs against humanity and Islam alike. Instead, the government has descended into sort of melancholy for not being able to bring those "forces of evil" back to the normal life, which has led to emboldening the militants. In reaction to Taliban's threatening statement, Gen. Josef Blotz, the spokesman for ISAF forces, has said that they would not be able to change the situation and this is because they have become weakened over the last six months.
International forces and Afghan security forces must keep up and increase pressure on the militants and insurgent groups before losing the initiative. Just counter-statement is not enough. The lax approach to the insurgents and not putting enough pressure on them has been the cause of today's situation. In fact, the government and international forces squandered the opportunity by trying to cajole the militants into reintegration and provided them with enough opportunity to regroup and regain their strength.
In the meanwhile, there is an opportunity to rethink the power structure to provide a long-term solution to the problems facing the country. There is a shared view among Afghan politicians and observers that one of the egregious mistakes made was the idea of centralization of power applied in the post-Taliban Afghanistan, which is not in sync with the loose social texture of the country. So it is important for international community to do two things simultaneously- that is say- to build up pressure on the stubborn enemy, which is now using children to exercise their atrocities, and help Afghan people work for decentralization to better suit the content of the society.