Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 21st, 2018

Who is Responsible?

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Who is Responsible?

“I would say that the most fundamental challenge is security. Security actually affects all activities of life in Afghanistan. After the drawdown of the international forces in 2014, the Taliban had tested the ability of Afghan national forces to defend the country. This had created a rather difficult situation in 2015, when the Taliban insurgency was able to make headway in terms of expanding their areas of control, and also the Afghan national security and defense forces seemed to be on the defensive,” these words were spoken by UN envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto.
The escalated militancy and increase in combatant and non-combatant casualties will demoralize the soldiers and fill public air with disappointment. Based on a report released by UNAMA, 1,601 civilians were killed and 3,565 wounded between January and June this year, which is an increase of four per cent in death toll compared to the first half of 2015 and the highest half-year total since 2009. Afghan civilians lose their lives in one way or another on the street, in markets, mosques and shrines (while praying or performing their religious rituals).
The appointment of Haibatullah Akhundzada as Taliban leader and emergence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have aggravated the security situation and inflicted heavy casualties upon Afghan civilians and soldiers. It is most likely that Haibatullah, the Taliban’s radical clergy, will not succumb to pressure put for coming to negotiating table and he is a big obstacle before the peace process. He is so fundamental that refuses to appear to media – the same as Mullah Omar. Hence, it is believed that his ideology prefers war to peace and he will continue so until be doomed to his predecessor’s fate. Similarly, members of the ISIL group, operating under the harsh ideology of Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi and gained foothold in Afghanistan, never imagine about peace talks since they nurture more fundamental mindset and practice more violently. Being undermined in Iraq and Syria financially and militarily in recent months, the ISIL fighters will resort to stoking sectarian violence and spilling the blood of men, women and children with strong sense of revenge.
Of late, the Taliban’s escalated offensives and terrorist attacks and suicide bombings carried out by warring factions create challenges before National Unity Government (NUG) and put the democracy under question. The takeover of Kunduz and soldiers’ heavy fatalities in different parts of the country are dark stains on NUG. Reportedly, around 100 Afghan police and soldiers were ambushed and killed, by the Taliban fighters, earlier this week as they tried to retreat – the heaviest losses suffered by government forces during months of fierce clashes near the capital of southern Helmand province. Afghan Taliban fighters have pushed into some areas of Lashkargah, firing rockets at government buildings and sparking a new wave of residents fleeing the city. It is said that dozens of other security personnel surrendered during the debacle, while Taliban gunmen seized at least 22 armored Humvees, dozens of trucks, and hundreds of rifles – it was affirmed by Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi.
Afghan officials are cited saying that security forces are losing as many as 5,000 people each month through casualties and desertion, while only about 3,000 new soldiers and police are recruited over the same period – this is a highly serious challenge before the NUG. If this trend continues, the country will be left at the mercy of greater crises. The mouth-watering promises of NUG’s heads, during their presidential campaigns, on one hand, and the current political and financial crises on the other hand widen the rift between state and nation.
After all, the government urges citizens not to leave the country and calls on European countries to send back Afghan refugees – those who migrated so as to get rid of insecurity and unemployment. The questions are that is Afghanistan secure for them? Will they be employed? Are there any particular plans for returnees? What about the family members of high-ranking officials living in foreign countries? The state is supposed to pave the way for them through strengthening security and fulfilling their presidential agenda rather than exerting pressure and establishing restrictive measures. The government has committed to “form a civil society void of violence and bloodshed” but people lose their lives on a large scale. In addition, a large number of people, mainly youths, suffer from unemployment and the government has no effective mechanism to tackle the issue.
Many analysts and observers are of the view that the termination of parliament’s legal period more than a year ago and holding no election for third round is a flagrant violation of the Constitution. Who is responsible for violating law in this regard, nation or state? It is said that except one article of the Constitution, which states that “Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan”, all the articles were violated by the state within more than a decade.
Hence, the country suffers from two major challenges namely the issues going inside government’s machinery such as lack of implementation of law, corruption, competition for power, etc. and the issues coming from warring parties. Both are to be tackled urgently and the worsening trend must be stopped or else the nation will suffer severely and death toll will rise with each passing day – which might be considered a stain on the NUG and results in the loss of its international allies and their financial aid.

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

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