Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Kabul, What a Capital!

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Kabul, What a Capital!

Recent attacks by insurgents in capital Kabul are considered attacks on the minds, souls and hearts of government and its five million residents and the large number of foreigners living in this city. Two black Tuesdays – 13 and 20 September – give shocking reflection of the situation in Afghanistan years after US invasion. Taliban insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at the U.S. embassy, NATO headquarters and other buildings in the heart of Kabul, the Afghan capital, on Tuesday, 13 September, while suicide bombers struck police buildings in a blitz that displayed the ability of militants to take their fight to the doorsteps of Western power in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, 20 September, Burhan ud Din Rabbani, ex president of Afghanistan and head of the High Peace Council – established to facilitate talks with Taliban – was killed by an unknown messenger from the Quetta Shura of Taliban who had concealed explosive material in his turban.

For the first incident, the Haqqani Network has been hold responsible. For the second, although the Taliban have denied involvement, fingers are pointed at them. The killing of peace-maker clearly indicates that Taliban do not want peace in Afghanistan through table talks rather they now are more moralized and think reconciliation program is a weakness of government and the international community.

Taliban have been quite successful in reaching their targets in capital Kabul where security is the tightest – army, police, intelligence, private security guards on alert all time. The continuous terror raids on important government and private buildings establish the fact that Taliban are present everywhere and are potent enough to target key government and foreign offices and kill their target.

Previously, Taliban had launched attacks on guest houses accommodating foreigners, foreign embassies, government ministries, shopping centers used by foreigners, police stations, luxury hotels and several other important locations in Kabul. Yet, more assaults from Taliban in Kabul should be expected.

People in Kabul are living under the shadows of terror. The continuous incidents of terrorism have deep negative impacts on the normality of life in the capital. If the condition is so in the capital city, the condition in other provinces is easily predictable.

Last year, it was admitted 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 – weak to strong.

The situation has gone more deteriorated since the last year. It proves the fact that the Taliban have parallel government in Afghanistan. Taliban have their 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 optimistic regarding the future defense of the whole country that has already started falling in their hands.

Afghanistan is standing at a very important juncture i.e. growing power of Taliban and drawdown of international troops. The US plans to withdraw 33,000 of its soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of 2012 and completely withdraw in 2014.

According to many, withdrawal plans by international allies of Afghanistan have bolstered the moral and confidence of the Taliban and their supporters. They are now thinking of victory in Afghanistan. By launching attacks in Kabul, the Taliban want to give a message to the government and the international community that the game is not over yet and you have to continue to 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 the foremost reason for the comparatively tighter security in Kabul. Taliban's infiltration of what government considers tightest security in capital makes it clear that they are strong, consistent in their operations and government's calls for talks in the last two years or so have left no positive impact on their evil and deadly objectives. The government should rather stop deceiving itself and go to protect the life of people.

The infiltration of strictest security in Kabul by Taliban is failure and weakness of army, police and above all the intelligence. The Afghan police and army have set security check post at every few kilometers.

These check post are quite problematic of common people but have not stopped Taliban from turning the capital into a hell. 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. 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.

Finally, the Afghan government's standing in front of terrorists is quite pathetic, although it has shown sympathy towards them. The opportunity our government had in the last ten years to put Afghanistan on the right track from security and economy point of views has been lost. But still, the government has chances to save the country from once going towards Taliban or civil war. Those chances need to be utilized before it is too late.

Mohd. Ahsan is permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafg hanistan@gmail.com

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