Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Progress or Retrogress against Taliban?


Progress or Retrogress against Taliban?

Unfortunately, there is no accurate information how much territory of Afghanistan is under control of Taliban, but comparing to the first decade of new Afghanistan Taliban have gradually expanded their influence in the country; the reality which concerns both Afghans and international allies. The US senior intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that the country remains fragile and could once again become a terrorist haven. Thus, a number of local experts, believe that neither peace and nor war strategy has produced significant achievement against terrorism, especially against Taliban. Because Taliban is not an independent group and they have been created for war, fiscally supported for war and overall they are steered by foreign countries. The last two decade experiences have showed that the Taliban have never responded positively to the peace called by government, political parties and other local peace movements.
It seems that Taliban may not joint peace process unless directly initiate deep talks with their steering suppers or win the war through seriously aggressive fighting. Otherwise, Taliban will keep destroying and expanding their domination throughout the country without paying any respect to national and international rule and values. Recently, the UN officials expressed their concerns that Taliban do not respect humanitarian rule and values. “I am gravely concerned about these serious allegations of ill-treatment, torture and unlawful killing of civilians and security personnel, as well as the deplorable conditions of detention,” as quoted said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of UNAMA.
However, the government officials inform of good progress against Taliban aggression, especially in last few months. The Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid says that the Taliban’ spring offensive or so called Al-Fath has been failed, adding the group has not been able to make any progress in the battlefield so far. Khalid talking in a ceremony to introduce Mohammad Fareed Ahmadi as new commander for the Special Forces Corps emphasized that the National Security Forces have suppressed the Taliban and thwarted their subversive attacks. “Taliban and their supporters have made full efforts against the government but faced the iron will of the national security forces and miserably defeated”, the defense minister said.
Pointing to foreign rebels operating in Afghanistan, he said, “I warn foreign terrorists to leave Afghanistan or this country would turn to their graveyard. When I come here, I feel proud and energetic,” “Fareed would take care of soldiers in training and protection, the enemy tried to start a new offensive against the Afghan forces but it failed to do anything. This credit goes to you, the Afghan Forces. We’re not alone, we have God and people on our side as well as international community’s support,” he said.
The acting defense minister said the bravery and sacrifices of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have stopped the enemy and their foreign supporters from changing anything in Afghanistan so far this year.“This year, the enemies along with their foreign supporters were not able to change anything in Afghanistan. This all shows your heroism and sacrifices,” said Khalid. Khalid praised the Afghan commandos for their achievements and said the government fully supports the forces because they play a crucial role in foiling the Taliban’s plans and activities.
Meanwhile, the new commander of the Afghan Special Operations Forces Mohammad Fareed Ahmadi, warned the Taliban to stop fighting against Afghans and Afghan security forces, otherwise, they will be eradicated. Ahmadi said the Afghan commandos, who conduct the special operations, will change the direction of war to peace and stability. “Together we will change the trend of war to peace in support of Afghan people,” he said. “I’m warning the Taliban fighters not to kill themselves without any reason. Have mercy on your families.” Ahmadi called on the Taliban fighters to stop listening to their leaders because they continue the fight under the order of foreign countries. “Do not listen to your Taliban leaders who sit under the flags of other countries,” he said. “I warn foreign terrorists. Leave Afghanistan or this will be your graveyard.” reported by multiple sources.
According to the interior ministry, over 1,100 Taliban have been killed or wounded by the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces within 20 days across the country. After announcing their Spring Offensive, the Taliban insurgents carried out couples of terroristic attacks in the country on the government and none government offices. Recently the rebels attacked one of the aid organizations (Counterpart) in capital Kabul, killing nine and wounding tens of civilians. This comes as the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad winded up his sixth round of talks with the Taliban negotiation members on about a month ago in Doha. Khalilzad recently tweeted that a peace process to bring political settlement in Afghanistan is the priority of the US.
Anyway, the political rationality requires evaluation of the past and wisely planning for the future. Whenever, the Afghan military changed their position from defensive to relatively aggressive, the terrorist groups have been extremely suppressed and lost the battlefield. Therefore, everyone agrees that defensive strategy does not work in Afghanistan. Likewise, we may not have international supports forever. The recent US strategy with the Taliban reflect their insistence on reducing money spent and lives lost in Afghanistan before next year’s election. President Trump has repeatedly said that America’s presence in Afghanistan was “ridiculous” and should be brought to an end. Based on these, we need to hurry so as to put an end to the long war through modifying our war and peace strategy.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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