Tuesday April 23, 2024

Kabul attack

By Editorial Board
August 19, 2022

As the Afghan Taliban mark their one year in power this month, the situation in the country remains precarious both economically and socially. There have been multiple attacks this month in which lives have been lost and properties damaged. In the latest attack on Wednesday, a blast ripped through a mosque in Kabul where worshippers had gathered for prayers. The attack claimed more than 20 lives and wounded dozens including children. Afghanistan has experienced so much bloodshed and suffering that it defies description. It seems while the players may have changed, the people’s fate still hasn’t. In fact, some would find little difference between living under a Taliban regime and in a war-torn country under occupying foreign powers.

Many of the recent attacks in Afghanistan have been claimed by the Islamic State (IS), which has been particularly active in the country recently and poses a challenge to the Taliban government. When the Taliban captured power they had claimed to have defeated the IS but the people of Afghanistan now find themselves at the mercy of ever-increasing violence. First, it was the Taliban themselves that had been responsible for hundreds of attacks across this region during the past two decades. Now even with their taking power, there is little to no reduction in the intensity of security challenges for Afghanistan as well as neighbouring Pakistan which shares a rather porous border with the country and has been the first to feel the fallouts of whatever upheavals Afghanistan goes through. In fact hardline groups have derived a certain strength from the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.

This past one year has proved that the Taliban are incapable of restoring peace in the region unless they fundamentally alter their policies. They retracted their pledges and the commitments they made while signing a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, with the Trump administration. Their alleged harbouring of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri resulted in a drone attack that reportedly killed him in the heart of Kabul. The inability to fulfil their commitments has caused the Western powers to freeze Afghan money in their banks. For now the only solution appears to be a reconsideration of the policies that the Taliban have introduced in contravention to their own commitments to the world community. The people of Afghanistan deserve a better deal. The February-2020 peace between the Taliban and the US did not produce any expected results; in fact it worsened the situation for the people of Afghanistan and this region. The real danger is that the Afghan people will keep suffering if the frozen amounts do not reach the people of Afghanistan. This is not money that the Taliban deposited so there must be some mechanism to hand over the money to an international humanitarian organization or to the UN that can oversee some development and welfare work in Afghanistan. For a people that have suffered decades of a foreign occupation only to be handed over to those that had brutalized them in the first place there has to be some light somewhere that can help them.