Saturday’s attack in the heart of Kabul, which killed 103 and wounded 235 people, was a gross violation of human rights and humanitarian law. This attack reveals the ugly face of the Taliban, who target combatant and non-combatants indiscriminately regardless of religious tenets, ethical code, and international principles.
Contrary to their claims, the Taliban have constantly spilled the blood of civilians and violated international instruments across the country. Their dogmatic ideology stems from Salafism, Wahhabism, and Dubandism which are of the most radical schools of thought. Hence, exercising a radical mindset, the Taliban show no respect to humanity. They kill people without a tinge of guilt. After all, it is really painful to see that the Taliban trample upon the rights of people under the cloak of religion.
Reeling from the death of their high-ranking members, the Taliban seek to target civilians, including women and children, with the intention put the government under pressure in order to concession to their regional or trans regional supporters . The wave of terrorist attacks in recent days reflects two facts. First, the Taliban have sustained heavy casualties by Afghan soldiers and seek to react through targeting civilians, which is against humanitarian law. Second, the Saturday’s attack, which was claimed by the Taliban, near the building of High Peace Council (HPC) shows their lukewarm response to peace talks. The Taliban have persistently held out against negotiation of peace especially after the appointment of their radical leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada. Therefore, they have never stopped violence and bloodshed.
I have frequently pointed out in my commentaries that the Taliban outfit shows no tendency towards peace talks and optimism for a fruitful talk is baseless. The deadly acts of the Taliban fighters reflect that they are masterminding attacks behind the scene rather than preparing for talks. To ponder over the issue, the Taliban are not able to reconcile their dogmatic worldview and fundamental ideology with amicable negotiation, which roots in tolerance and humanity.
The Saturday’s suicide attack carried out by the Taliban has been widely condemned. Declaring national day of mourning for Sunday, with flags flying at half-mast, the presidential palace condemned the attack in the strongest possible term. Meanwhile, Tadamichi Yamamoto, the chief of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, denounced the attack as “nothing short of an atrocity” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Likewise, US President Donald Trump called for “decisive action” against the Taliban over the assault as other international leaders also condemned the attack.“I condemn the despicable car bombing attack in Kabul today,” Trump said,“that has left scores of innocent civilians dead and hundreds injured.” He added, “The Taliban’s cruelty will not prevail. The United States is committed to a secure Afghanistan that is free from terrorists who would target Americans, our allies, and anyone who does not share their wicked ideology.”
Although the Taliban’s acts of violence have been frequently condemned at domestic and international levels, this has not decreased insurgency. Whether or not their acts are denounced, the Taliban will resort to any tactics to obtain their sinister objectives.
On the other side, the repeated condemnation carries weight neither for the militants nor for Afghan people. That is to say, it neither mitigates insurgency nor alleviates the pain and anguish of the nation.
The Taliban have inflicted heavy casualties upon Afghan nation. According to reports, 1,372 civilians were killed and 2,360 were wounded in the country within the last eight months of 2017. Data from the UN shows that 10 civilians were killed every day on average over the first nine months of 2017.
Carrying out deadly attacks against soldiers and civilians, the Taliban believe to leave no room for talks. They have played foul game in the past and continue to do so. Although, reports said that a three-member Taliban’s delegation traveled to Islamabad from its Qatar political office to consider the peace possibility, it seems no more than a deceptive game that the Taliban have ever played. Their fundamental ideology and political objectives are against peace and stability. Furthermore, the escalated militancy shows Taliban’s tendency towards violence and bloodshed.
In brief, the Taliban are not able to reconcile their warped mind with amicable talks and will continue their insurgency across the country. The series of attacks and suicide bombings carried out indiscriminately against Afghan nation suggest that the Taliban seek revenge for sustaining heavy casualties in the battlefields.
The Taliban’s organized attacks in the heart of Kabul indicate the weak intelligence of the government. To combat terrorism effectively, the state has to reinforce its intelligence and change the tactics of war since the traditional method is not effective enough. Meanwhile, the ongoing political tension between officials, which is most likely to leave a vacuum for a shared resolution in counterinsurgency, should come to an end. Otherwise, insurgency will continue unabated.