Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Can Afghan Forces Curb Insecurity?

In his final address to Afghanistan’s parliament on Saturday, President Karzai told the US its soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his military, which already protects 93 per cent of the country, was ready to take over entirely.

He reiterated his stance that he would not sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States that would provide for a residual force of US troops to remain behind after the final withdrawal, unless peace could first be established.

Karzai makes this statement while terrorism is a serious issue in the country and Afghan police and civilians lose their lives in daily acts of terror. The death of 21 Afghan soldiers in Ghaziabad area of Kunar province, which occurred last month, is the worst example. Moreover, almost no days is passed without casualty.

The Afghan president has come under heavy pressure to sign the security pact with a council of notables that he himself convened recommended that he should sign the pact.

In addition, Karzai said the war in Afghanistan was ''imposed'' on his nation, presumably by the 2001 invasion, and told the United States it could bring peace to Afghanistan if it went after terrorist sanctuaries and countries that supported terrorism, a reference to Pakistan.

In his speech Karzai again urged Taliban insurgents to join the peace process, while accusing Pakistan of protecting the Taliban leadership.

He suggested that Pakistan was behind the killing earlier this year of a Taliban leader who supported the peace process.

The political attitude of presidential palace adopted towards Taliban such as releasing them from Bagram prison and holding peace negotiation put the President in collision course with Afghan people. According to popular beliefs, on the one hand Afghans are murdered by the Taliban insurgents but on the other hand Taliban are released from prison and it is a great injustice. Moreover, when Karzai did not attend the funeral ceremony of 21 Afghan soldiers, it aroused further mistrust of the people.

It merits mentioning that a sit-in launched by civil society activists three weeks ago in support of the victims’ families and as a protest against holding negotiation with Taliban, calling them “brother” or releasing them, has been ignored by presidential palace and no green light is given to their civil demands. Of course, such acts of presidential palace will results create a big gap between people and the government. And if the palace continues giving cold shoulder to the civil movement of the activists, it will be construed that the Taliban are given higher priority over the people.