Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Transitional Uncertainty

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Transitional Uncertainty

The challenges both for Afghan and international forces are increasing as the terrorist acts in the country are marked with a rising trend. Afghanistan is going through a transition period, wherein, the security responsibilities have to be transferred to Afghan forces; whereas, the first phase of this transition has already been completed. Within this transition period Afghanistan has to be assisted in order for it to be capable of forming reliable political and economic systems.

There are plans for a political reconciliation with Taliban, in order to adjust their representation in Afghan politics and make them leave terrorism and opt for a peaceful life. There have been endeavors on the part of Afghan government and international community in this regard, but an explicit process is yet to be evident. Further, Taliban in response to this peace process, do not seem very much interested. And they have kept their violent struggle continue to gain more strength in the country.

Another major factor that needs to be determined in the ongoing transition period is the future of American troops' presence in Afghanistan. The drawdown announced by Obama has already started, but there are concerns and ambiguities regarding further drawdown and complete withdrawal. Moreover, how this drawdown process is carried on is another concern. Currently, a dialogue on strategic agreement between Karzai government and Obama Administration is going on.

The contents of this agreement, the ones that will be agreed upon, are going to decide the future of the mentioned matters to a large extent, but at the moment there are evident differences between the two parties. The future of the permanent U.S. bases is also going to be decided through this agreement. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan has already mentioned that U.S. government is not going to have permanent bases in Afghanistan as U.S. is not stationed in Afghanistan in order to threaten the interests of Afghanistan's neighboring countries.

The outcome of this transition period can never be prognosticated with perfect accuracy, but looking at the objective conditions prevailing at the moment, it is not difficult to say that unless there is a peace negotiation and agreement and the terrorists are some what compensated in the political setup as is being hoped, the situation of peace and tranquility is never going to improve. The current wave of terror in the country has become very aggressive; though it can never be concluded to have as dominating role as it used to have but, it at this particular moment when everything is in a state of rapid change, is very much likely to affect the overall social psychology.

As soon as the people seem to strengthen their trust over the scenario, there is a blow from the terrorists to shatter their hopes of harmony. Therefore, though there has been much gain in the war against terrorism, still there are people who fear the return of Taliban. In addition, this sort of distrust regarding the socio-political scenario is not healthy as far as economic growth is concerned.

The uncertain individuals and parties are never going to invest their money in the country for constructive activities. Social and political order must be guaranteed before the investors decide to play their part. Furthermore, the ambiguous circumstances can also result in the migration of skilled labors and professionals from the country. Believing that their futures are not guaranteed in such a threatening condition they, some way or the other, try to reach the developed countries where their efforts, skills and education can be valued.

In one of the most recent attacks Taliban targeted the mayor of Kandahar – Ghulam Haider Hamidi - through a suicide bombing. The incident that occurred on Wednesday, July 27, marked the assassination of the third top-ranking official in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, the terrorists were able to target President Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai who was the governor of Kandahar and a very dominant player in Kandahar power struggle and Jan Muhammad Khan, the adviser to President Karzai, along with a former governor of Uruzgan province.

All these incidents show that Taliban have the capacity to hit the major targets in accordance to their will. Definitely, these incidents do not point at the return of Taliban as most of the people fear, but these incidents do play a dominant role in deciding the future course of actions.

The incident of assassination of Ghulam Haider Hamidi is a severe blow to the worsening situation in Kandahar. Taliban have always had considerable influence in Kandahar and they have been carrying on sanguinary operations with major successes. Kandahar has been considered to have a strategic importance as far as the war against terrorism is concerned.

Once the capital and the sanctuary of Taliban, this province has always decided the political scenario in the south. Further, because of its proximity with the neighboring country Pakistan, it has influenced the relations between the two countries to a large extent. Even the current incidents are believed by our politicians to be carried out with the support of the spy agency of Pakistan.

Whether these incidents were carried out with the support of Pakistani spy agency is difficult to say, but it is sure that the relation between the two countries is being influenced by these incidents and their aftermath and this goes much in the favor of Taliban. The debilitating Af-Pak relations can be helpful for the survival of Taliban and other terrorist groups, because if both the countries with proper co-operation and willingness launch comprehensive operations against Taliban, they will quiver to make their survival sure.

President Karzai has recently made it clear that Afghanistan wants political independence and any sort of strategic agreement between Afghanistan and U.S. can only take place if the Afghan government's conditions are met. Definitely, nothing is so much crucial for the people of Afghanistan as independent political and economic systems but in order to reach to that position our country has to go through the ongoing perplexing circumstances with political prudence and remarkable understanding of the objective conditions, which our government lacks to a considerable extent.

It is not necessary to have authority when you can not handle it, or you do not deserve it. But it really is imperative to utilize the authority that you have to the maximum. Once, you have done that, no body is going to question your capability.

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

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