Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, March 23rd, 2018

No Rest! Even in Kabul


No Rest! Even in Kabul

The insurgents know the importance and impacts of attacking the capital of Afghanistan. They want to give a message to the government and the international community that the game is not over and you have to continue to fight.

Kabul got attacked again on Tuesday night. This is the second attack in just ten days. This time, the Inter-continental hotel – Afghanistan's first luxury hotel, built in 1969 - was targeted. The hotel is mostly used by foreigners and high government officials. At the time of the attack, reportedly, two events were taking place inside the hotel – a wedding party and an important briefing to provincial government officials about the transition of security responsibilities from the U.S. Military to the Afghan security forces. The assault killed at least a dozen people who were either among the 60-70 guests staying in the hotel or were the hotel personnel. The attack comes at times when on June 18, 2011 nine people were killed by three attackers armed with suicide vests and machine-guns who stormed a police station in the heart of the Kabul.

Located in Karteh Parwan area of Kabul, the Inter-continental hotel applies strict security plan. Even if one wants to have a meal in this hotel, he has to pass several security check posts and answer several questions asked by security guards. The check posts are established on the road leading to a hill where the hotel is situated. A team of Police has been positioned in the hotel area that keeps eye over the people coming to and going from hotel. In addition to that, security cameras have been installed inside and outside the hotel. The security arrangement for this hotel is no doubt, not only strict but also on alert 24/7. The question on how the insurgents penetrated hotel's security, as for other places attacked in past, remains ambiguous. Everyone has his own speculation but there's no exact answer.

The continuous terror raids on important government and private buildings establish the fact that Taliban is present everywhere and is potent enough to target key government and foreign offices and kill their personnel. Previously, Taliban launched attacks on guest houses accommodating foreigners, Indian Embassy, government ministries, Kabul City Center, Gulbahar Center, police stations, Serena Hotel and several others located in Kabul.

The police and army check posts present at every few kilometers – a headache for common people - is insufficient and rather incapable to stop the Taliban from turning the capital into a hell. There are also doubts that certain individuals are present in Afghan police who help insurgents in carrying attacks in Kabul and other provinces by providing them secret information. Although Afghan intelligence (National Directorate of Security - NDS), has been arresting people having on mind to launch terror attacks, success of terrorist to plan and launch attacks in Kabul in a consistent way can be conceived its failure and incapability.

People living in capital are panicked and terrified. If such condition prevails in capital city of Afghanistan, one can easily judge what goes on in its other 365 districts. It was admitted last year by Ministry of Interior, that out of the total districts in Afghanistan only in nine, security situation is satisfactory and in others Taliban have varying influence and control. The situation has gone more deteriorated since the last year. This proves the comment of ex ISI chief Hamid Gul, who had said the Taliban has parallel government in Afghanistan, as true. Taliban has its own governors and district governors. Knowing that the Afghan security forces fail to give a full proof security to the capital, one can not be optimist regarding the future defense of the whole country that will soon start falling in their hands. The US and its allies plan to withdraw significant number of their forces from Afghanistan until 2012 and completely withdraw in 2014. This plan has only increased the moral of Taliban and concerns of Afghans who had dreamed of a prosperous Afghanistan ten years back when Taliban was ousted.

The insurgents know the importance and impacts of attacking the capital of Afghanistan. They want to give a message to the government and the international community that the game is not over and you have to continue the fight. Kabul is targeted from time to time and therefore the government struggles to keep its forces on high alert. It is not because the government is concerned about safety of common people. A noteworthy portion of population living in this city is formed by foreign civilians and army, high ranking government officials and VIPs. All of them work and reside by hiding themselves behind thick security walls and their safety is conceived as the foremost reason for the comparatively tighter security in Kabul. Taliban's infiltration of what government considers tight security in capital makes it clear that it is strong, consistent in its operations and government's calls for talks in the last two years or so have left no positive impact on its evil and deadly objectives.

Attacks such as that on the Inter-continental hotel have cause the people of Afghanistan to lose hope and trust in their government. The Karzai administration, which was formed by the invaluable contribution of the people of Afghanistan who voted in 2005 and 2009 elections at the cost of their lives, is failing. It is moving illegally and opposite the wants of Afghan populace. Afghan government is attempting to include Taliban in its structure through peace reconciliation program and let it rule Afghanistan once again. Although the insurgent group has denied any sorts of such programs, it is feared that Taliban leaders would be, once again, seen occupying important government seats. One can ask, "Is our government rewarding the Taliban for its brutality and violence it has practiced in the last 15 years?"

Mohammad Ahsan is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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