As Afghanistan is proceeding in the so called transition period, the concerns seem to be multiplying as well. Afghanistan is going to enter in the second phase of security transition soon, wherein the security responsibility of 17 provinces will be handed over to Afghan security forces. Though, most would agree that the lasting solution for the problems in Afghanistan lie in the confidence and capability of Afghan forces to rule their country themselves; yet there are many milestones to be achieved before that is acquired.
The insecurity seems to be rising in different parts of the country, and there are numerous challenges for which the Afghan security forces are neither well-equipped, nor well-trained. Only on Saturday i.e. October 29, 2011, three incidents took place in different parts of country that show that the wave of terrorism is swelling distressingly. Even more distressing is the fact that out of three incidents the most lethal of them took place in the capital, Kabul.
In the first incident a car bomber was able to hit a NATO convoy in Kabul. The incident, according to the latest information, killed four people. The Afghan Ministry of Interior has confirmed that three Afghan civilians and one policeman died in the Kabul attack. According to the reports the bombing took place in the southwestern outskirts of Kabul, and was intended to target NATO convoy, which included a military bus.
Taliban claimed the responsibility, soon after the incident. It is not confirmed yet if there is any NATO troop in the deceased. This incident was quiet similar to another incident that took place in May 2010, in which the suicide bomber was able to hit a NATO convoy, killing 18 people, which included 5 American troops and a Canadian.
The second incident took place in the south, wherein a man wearing an Afghan military uniform shot at Afghan and NATO troops and killed at least two NATO members. Further details about the shooting are yet to come. If the culprit happens to be an Afghan soldier, it would be an addition in the incidents of distrust that have been taking place in the country every now and then.
The third of the incidents took place in capital of Kunar province. In this incident a female suicide bomber in an attempt to target a local government office blew herself up. There were no casualties as a result of the explosion because the suicide bomber had blew herself up at a distance from the office after she was suspected and shot at by the security guards.
The three incidents, though are not very large in magnitude, are able to ring the bells of approaching terror. There are few points of concerns about these incidents. The first one is definitely the concerns about the deteriorating security in and around the capital, Kabul. The terrorist have been able to hit very important targets in the last few months in the heart of the capital, while the security measures have not been able to produce tangible outcomes.
If the security in the capital remains so much penetrate- able, it would be really difficult to have high expectations from the situations in the areas that are being transitioned. The areas that were transition in the first phase are also not showing signs of improvement; rather the security situation has deteriorated considerably.
The other point of concern is the lack of professionalism and commitment on the part of Afghan troops. They have not been able to show great determination towards their duties and seem to be easily distracted by the terrorists. There have been many occasions when Afghan soldiers have raised arms against their foreign officers.
Moreover, there has been severe unease about the corruption that has been able to creep within the Afghan forces. There have been many occasions when they are found violating the law themselves. On the other hand, the lack of latest equipment and extensive training has also been making Afghan troops incapable to coup with the situation. In fact the structure that has been giving birth to religious extremist has not been eradicated and it has been affecting different fields of live, including Afghan forces.
The latest wave of terrorism may also be linked with counter terrorist operations that have been carried out by Afghan and International forces in order to unsettle the strongholds of terrorists in craggy areas of Kunar, earlier this month. The operations resulted in the death or arrest of more than 100 terrorists.
Moreover, in similar kind of operations in Sorabi district of Paktika province, near Afghan-Pak border, two leaders of Haqqani network along with many others were arrested. The operations were carried out by international troops after they were urged by the terrorists as they carried out a shocking assault in the heart of Kabul on NATO headquarters and US embassy.
Whatever is the reason of the current attacks and swelling wave of terrorism, it should not be neglected that overall terrorism has been able to grow largely in the recent few years. The transition period, instead of pointing towards progress and improvement, seems to be going the other way. In fact the overall process of transition does not seem to be working well.
This period does not have to be only a transfer of security responsibility from international forces to Afghan forces, rather it should be comprehensive enough to include within its folds the overall political and economic stability and better life opportunities for all the Afghan people.
The post transition period in Afghanistan has to be a period that can give poverty stricken Afghan people their basic requirements; provide them better representation and participation in political and social life; make them capable of governing themselves appropriately; assist them in forming strong ties with the regional powers and keeping the doors of economic and political supports from them open and maintaining strategic partnership with international community and above all with US.
However, it does never imply that the national interests must be sacrificed in order to have better relations with regional powers or even with international community, because at the end it is Afghanistan that needs most of the care and devotion.