Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Unmitigated Militancy Scapegoats Civilians

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Unmitigated Militancy Scapegoats Civilians

Taliban, the inveterate ideologues, will continue violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan and target civilians to put pressure on the government. The appointment of Mullah Haibatullah as Mansoor’s successor does not seem to be a game-changer in political arena and peace process. To consolidate his authority, Haibatullah will follow the path of his predecessor. Most likely, he is orchestrating attacks against Afghan government and runs the gamut of insurgency so as to carry out Omari Operation. Saddened by Mansour’s death, he must have taken the oath of revenge.
Manosoor’s death was believed to pave the grounds for peace process, since he was deemed an “obstacle” before the talks. However, this dream does not seem to come true. The recent insurgency is a slap not only in the face of talks but also in the face of the burgeoning democracy in Afghanistan. People’s rights to life, liberty and estate are still at stake and they will be discriminated against on the grounds of their accidental backgrounds by religious extremists – mainly the Taliban and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
With the escalation of the Taliban’s annual offensive, Afghan civilians will bear the brunt of it. For instance, a large number of non-combatants, including women and children, were killed last year in the spring offensive. Similarly, Omari Operation is conducive to the increase of civilian mortality. As a result, insurgents have reportedly stopped several vehicles in Kunduz province on Tuesday morning and abducted a number of travelers – from which a dozen was later found dead. Subsequently, Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani pointed finger at Haibatullah and said that the untoward incident put his religious knowledge under question – as homicide and indiscriminate killings are against Islamic tenets.
Warring parties, mainly the Taliban, have violated humanitarian law a thousand and one times in the country. They showed no iota of mercy to women, children and wounded in action despite being emphasized by sacred doctrines and international law. In other words, radical ideologues, who are born and bred in hotbed of radicalism such as seminaries, have always had an iconoclastic movement and turned a deaf ear to the call of their conscience, societal values, and public beliefs. To put it succinctly, their acts of inhumanity are not only denounced by international instruments but every sound mind rebukes their indiscriminate killings which take place frequently.
After all, the insurgents also seek to kill people on the grounds of their ethnic differences and create mistrust among the nation.  The civil and historical unrests also colored the public with the brush of ethnicity and caused a gap among Afghan brethrens. The Taliban, during its regime, supported the idea of ethnicity and murdered people on the grounds of their caste, creed and color. However, this mindset still holds strong sway among the radicals. Therefore, they stoke sectarian violence so as to sow the seed of discord among the multi-ethnic nation. It is believed that warring parties seek to muddy the water through fueling sectarianism and then side with a certain group under the term of their tribal identity. Moreover, these acts of terror will galvanize people to stage protest against the government and widen the gap between state and nation – as targeting civilians had always been a means of putting pressure on the state.
The acts of targeting civilians on the basis of their ethnicity will arouse a sense of mistrust between state and nation but will not cause a rift among the ethnic groups. Fortunately, the public has grown mature politically and understands that ethnic or tribal conflicts will push the country towards further instability. 
Spilling the blood of non-combatants will stigmatize the Taliban in national and international arena and put their humanity under question – while their ideology is already notorious. Sacrificing locals’ life for self-interests, which is in direct conflict with religious values, ethical code and international law, has been deprecated in the strongest possible terms, the militants, however, continue callously. Hence, it is believed that the Taliban guerillas are mercenary pawns rather than religious ideologues. They are paid to carry out the road-map of political figures who are masterminding behind the scene.
Most likely, the ISIL group, who is married to more radical ideology, is also engaged in stoking sectarianism. But it should be noted that a number of the Taliban members also disguised themselves as ISIL after the death of their reclusive leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, which led to splinter group. ISIL seeks to fragment the nation and widen the range of their violence in any possible ways. As soon as ISIL gains firm foothold in Afghanistan, civilian casualties will mount more than ever before.
Warring factions intend to undermine the authority of National Unity Government (NUG) through murdering civilians and show no green light about peace. If this trend continues unabated, it will create mistrust between state and nation. Therefore, it is the government to intensify its military action to prevent such untoward incidents. Moreover, if Afghanistan cannot eliminate the terrorists’ hubs, located across the border, at least the porous borders should be tightened to bar from their infiltration and let not the previous episodes, such as Kunduz takeover, be repeated. The state is hoped to put an end to civilian mortalities and abduction in near future.

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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