Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Insecurity and Loya Jirga

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Insecurity and Loya Jirga

The peace and security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating with each passing day. The transition period and the process of withdrawal of international forces have been adding fuel to the fire. All the important places and personalities in the country are facing serious threats of insecurity as Taliban have adopted the policy of targeting the important figures and places for the last few years and they have been successful in that to a certain extent.

With the urgency of withdrawal of international forces, the incapacity of Afghan forces to tackle the complex security arrangements has also raised ambiguities about the security. Afghan forces are lacking not only the capacity to arrange for and make use of the modern equipments but also the skills to outmaneuver the threatening Taliban.

There have been many incidents when Afghanistan has suffered to a large extent by having lost their precious processes and personalities just because of the successful assaults of the terrorists. In the normal course of social and political life, such processes take many years to accomplish and it takes a personality many years to gain social recognition and importance in the society.

But, in a state of insecurity and war such processes and personalities are ended in a jiffy that creates a vacuum in social and political scenario; it may take a long time to fill that vacuum and when a society is already suffering from myriads of social and political problems, such a scenario may prove to be fatal. Afghanistan has been one of such countries – it has paid much in order to compensate for the losses incurred by insecurity in the country.

Currently, there are concerns about the loya jirga that is going to be held on Wednesday i.e. November 16, 2011 (There are reservations about arrangement of such a jirga. Many suggest, and to a certain extent they are correct, that this jirga is not democratic. Keeping in mind the requirements for a democratic process towards peace, tranquility and reconciliation, it is not difficult to call such an arrangement violation of democratic principles.

No doubt, the jirgas have played an influential part in the tribal Afghan life, but they have to be integrated into a democratic system so that they should be more effective. Keeping them continue with the tribal principles that gauge the importance of the people because of their family background, wealth and other status symbols, should never be appreciated in a country that claims to be democratic).

At the moment, the security concerns are the top priority. There have been arrangements made to guarantee complete security of 2,000 members who are going to participate in the jirga; at the same time there are rumors regarding the arrangements and even fear.

This fear is because of the previous successful assaults of the terrorists and the growing insecurity in different parts of country. Recently, Taliban have published the 'claimed security plan' of the Afghan authorities regarding the jirga, showing that they have been able to leak such a crucial document.

The document that they have printed in their website consists of 27 pages and includes the list of security arrangement for Afghan ministers and the President Hamid Karzai. There is a rundown of security officials with their titles and particular responsibilities and what looks like a police map, the BBC's Orla Guerin in Kabul says.

Taliban have quite clearly announced their victory in this regard and have claimed that they have been able to obtain it "by means of its personnel embedded inside the enemy ranks". But, this claim of Taliban does not seem to be very close to the truth.

Definitely, they have been able to target some of the important buildings and personalities recently but their this claim seems very much unlikely. Afghan officials have also responded to these claims and have considered it a white lie.

A very important point has been made by Abdul Rahman Rahman, the deputy interior minister responsible for security and police matters, "If this documents were real, they would have used it to attack the loya jirga and later leak it out. If it's real why would you publish it?" This really is an important point.

There is no strong reason why Taliban would leak it, except that they want to just exaggerate about their penetration within the security personnel and above all create panic and considering the situation in hand, many would be caught in such snares. Moreover, NATO forces spokesperson Lt. Col Jimmie Cummings was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that a signature on the document supposedly belonging to Lt. Gen Curtis Scaparotti, deputy commander of US forces in Afghanistan, did not resemble his actual signature.

Even if this claim by Taliban is false, the threats that are there for the upcoming jirga are not minimized at all and they should be dealt with seriously. Hours after this claim a suspected suicide bomber, with explosive has been shot dead by the security forces near the site of the upcoming jirga. According to the statements of Lutfullah Mashal, spokesperson for Afghanistan intelligence service the National Directorate of Security, "A suicide bomber who wanted to enter the polytechnic university (where the loya jirga will take place) was identified and shot dead by security forces. His explosive detonated as he was shot dead. He was carrying the explosives in a laptop-type bag."

These pieces of news are really very worrying but the concerned authorities should never lose sight of appropriate designs to counter any sort of insurgency. Now that this jirga has been arranged, it should be carried out in a peaceful manner. Yes, there are questions about its legitimacy and its possible outcomes, but it is going to take place and that is a reality which can never be neglected and all possible measures must be carried out to ensure that this jirga concludes safely, because if, unfortunately, something happens during the jirga, the disorder and insecurity complex are going to further increase in the society, which would be a great blow to the peace and democratic processes in the country.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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