Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 24th, 2017

The Continuation of Heartrending Episodes in Afghanistan

The recent successive attacks and suicide bombings carried out by militant fighters in many provinces, mainly in Kabul, indicate that the Taliban will continue their violence and bloodshed despite being called for holding talks and laying their arms on the ground. Terrorists are not political opponents to resolve their issues through negotiation. Their aim is to pressure the government in some ways.
Following the Friday’s attack in a Shia Mosque in Kabul, which killed and wounded dozens of people including women and children, a child was cleaning the bloodstain of victims who were killed mercilessly while offering prayer. This issue reflects not only the cruel practices of terrorists against Afghan nation but also the sufferings inflicted upon children. One’s senses will go numb to see that a child is cleaning the bloodstain of their parents, playmates, and worshippers. Those children are most likely to ask themselves the reason behind the death of innocent people. Besides being filled with hatred and disgust due to harsh practices of mankind, such children will be traumatized by the gory pictures and thick bloodstain spilt without guilt. Such nightmarish pictures will haunt children for years. Imagine the small hands of a child cleaning the bloodstain of innocent victims from the surface of walls. In short, kind-hearted children clean the blood which was shed by stone-hearted individuals in mosque.
This incident reflects one more fact; that is to say, the image of virtue against vice. In fact, the hero and villain do not necessarily belong to movies or stories but also in real life. Hence, stereotyping a nation on the basis of their religions, faith, and beliefs will be against a sound conscience. For instance, a number of Muslims are treated with contempt in some countries since religious extremists who claim to be Muslims carry out terrorist attacks. Now it is hoped that the world will know that Muslims bear the brunt of terrorism. They are killed in sacred place (Masjid) while worshipping the Creator. Afghan Ulema Council (the council of religious scholars) condemned the Friday’s suicide attack in Shia Mosque and called it against Islam and Islamic tenets. Muslims clergy also come under terrorist attacks in many parts of the country. Only few months back, some mullahs were targeted and killed in Herat province after their meeting held to condemn the acts of terror. Hence, on the one hand, antagonists, in real life, shed the blood of people, but on the other hand, a number of protagonists – similar to the same child who was cleaning the bloodstain from the mosque – clean the blood or condemn their attacks in the strongest possible term.
The Taliban have intensified their attacks in recent weeks. Saturday’s attack on Marshal Fahim Military Academy which killed 15 army trainees, was the second suicide attack in Afghan capital in 24 hours and the seventh major assault in the country since Tuesday, taking the total death toll to more than 200, with hundreds more wounded. The spate of deadly attacks underscores deteriorating security across the country as the resurgent Taliban step up their attacks on civilians and military bases and self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue to target Shia mosques. The Friday attack was claimed by ISIL and Saturday by the Taliban.
In one of the recent attacks, around 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban-claimed assault on a military base in the southern province of Kandahar on Thursday.
Afghan soldiers have sustained heavy casualties in combating terrorism since NATO combat forces pulled out of the country at the end of 2014. Casualties leapt by 35 percent in 2016, with 6,800 soldiers and police killed, according to US watchdog SIGAR.
The insurgents have carried out more complex attacks against security forces in 2017, with SIGAR describing troop casualties in the early part of the year as “shockingly high”. The attacks included assaults on a military hospital in Kabul in March which may have killed up to 100 people, and on a base in Mazar-i-Sharif in April which left 144 people dead.
On the other hand, the US has intensified its air strike in recent days in the Afghan-Pak border region. The US reportedly carried out at least 70 strikes, both drone and ground, in Afghanistan in the past three weeks. Reports say that the chief of Jammat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) has been killed in a US drone strike. “Chief of our Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Umar Khalid Khorasani, who sustained serious injuries in a recent US drone strike in Afghanistan's Paktia province, succumbed to his injuries Wednesday evening,” JuA spokesman Asad Mansoor is cited as saying.
Observers and analysts are of the view that the militants, including the Taliban, will not hold talks and a strong military action will be the only option to bring terrorists into their knees. Peace talks, despite being persisted by Afghanistan and its allies and neighbors, will fall by the wayside since the Taliban continue their attacks without hesitation. The spate of terrorist attacks reflect the Taliban’s lukewarm response to the call for peace.