Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Afghanistan: New year Starts with Successive attacks


Afghanistan: New year  Starts with Successive attacks

After proposal of free precondition talks everyone was hopeful for opening a new political chapter in the country but On contrary to the whitehopes,the new year has commenced with multiple terror attacks in major Afghan cities. The first deadly attack in new year, happened in Kabul capital city in which at least 32 people were killed and at over 50 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated their explosives near Kart-e Sakhi shrine on 21 March. this attack was conducted during celebrations of the Afghan New Year (Nowruz) and that those targeted were mostly Hazara people.
It is widely believed that the event was in continuance to the systemic annihilation of Hazaras purposefully carries out by ISIS group and they commonly claimed responsibility for such attacks.However, similar attacks continued by a blast targeted a protest camp in ChamaniHozoriarea killed one person and wounded 13 others. The sit-in camp was started earlier in March by some Afghans who are calling for an end to what they say is the persecution of ethnic Pashtuns in Pakistan’s federally administered tribal regions. Generally, theinsurgent groups have always attempted to target major cities to show their presence and power in the heart of strategic locations.
After two days of new year and Kabul deadly attack, the other fatal attack happened in Lashkargah City in Helmand provincein whichat least 15 people were killed and 51 wounded after a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives. As reported the explosion occurred outside a stadium in Lashkargah City when spectators were leaving the stadium after a wrestling match had finished andsadly the children, women and other civilian were among those killed and wounded. Overall, the succeeding explosions indicates the fragile and worsening security situation in new yearalthough the government had already launched new security plansand new strategies to tighten security in the wake of several earlier attacks took the life of thousands.
As usual, many countries and organizations strongly condemned the terror attacks; President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and added, that “the enemies of Afghanistan cannot prevent the celebration of traditional, religious and cultural events in the country”. While, he had earlier pledged the Taliban’s reintegration in Afghanistan’s political and administrative structures if they lay down the arms and willingly morph into a political party. Thus, UNAMA condemned the incident and said “Attacks directed at civilians are clear violations of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes.” Yet no group has claimed responsibility for the second explosion in Helmand while reportedly Taliban has had some presence in the outskirts of Lashkargah city in southern Helmand province for the past few years.
As per TOLO news reporters, this area has been under the control of the Taliban for more than the past two years. They said the Taliban militants have presence in many parts of the third and 10th police districts of the city. Thus they, have visited the Boshran area in the PD10 of the city where he says the Taliban’s flags can be seen few meters away from the main road and that the government forces are fighting the militants from a short distance.Helmand Police Chief Abdul Ghafar Safi says they will continue their efforts to retake those parts of the city in the near future.
By and large, it seems that security in Afghanistanis deterioratingcomparing to the last year, despite the fact there were more than 10,000 civilian casualties. Recently UNAMA released its annual report indicating3,438 deaths and 7,015 injuries happenedin 2017 but according to Pazhwak News Agancy, 14,600 had been killed and 10,277 were wounded which shows that Afghanistan has really become the largest human slaughterhouse.Anyway, it is said that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - suicide and non-suicide - by armed groups led to the majority of the casualties last year, with ground engagements accounting for the second-highest number of victims.
Everyone is dissatisfied from government and international partners for unaccountability and that only condemning from behind of cement walls which does not heal people’s pain. Some social and political analysts raise concerns that the insecurity crisis and deadly attacks in Kabul and other cities will farther cause poverty, migrations and distrusts.  Others mainly blame security and intelligence departments for their inability to prevent the string of deadly attacks that have rocked not only the capital but also the country especially in few last years. Typically, NUG is responsible for the current crisis in the country and they have to end the insecurity crisis at any cost.
Lastly, the insecurity crisis has really reached in the level that no one is safe but the government frequently fails to resolve problems whereas a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring and summer. However, both government and international allies have really approached with the most flexible tone whichwas unprecedented since 2001 but it seems that talks would not work without military pressure. Because, in addition to proposal of free precondition talks, it was emphasized that we must have the courage to listen to grievances, analyses the root causes and drivers of conflict, and hear a diversity of proposals for reconciliation. This is a critically important part of the proposal. It was also hoped that the constructive approach would guide the future talks. So, at this stage, it was the best opportunity for Taliban to present their own wants instead of presenting their bombs.

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

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