Though Taliban claim to be ‘true Muslims’ their actions do not depict so. In fact, what they have been doing stand as the witness that they do not have much respect for the Islamic ideology or even practices. In Islam month of Ramadan is considered as one of the holiest months; therefore, the Muslims strive to spend this month by praying or being patient and compassionate.
However, Taliban insurgents even in this month did not take any initiative to scale down the level of violence. Though verbally they made commitments not to continue the war, practically their ‘spring offensive’ continued throughout the month. There are even fears that the approaching Eid days may be used as an opportunity to spread violence by insensitive insurgents.
The continuity of insurgency even in the month of Ramadan increased the security challenges for the Afghan and international community. Though from the very beginning of the month United Nations requested the parties to the conflict to shun violence in the honor of the month of Ramadan but all in vain. The insurgents, who claim to be the guardians of Islam, have continued their evil actions and they have not even hesitated to target the civilians in this regard. Some of the recent acts of violence in this regard are worthy to note.
On Tuesday, August 14, in Zaranj, the provincial capital of Nimroz province, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in a busy market that resulted in the death of about 28 people and injury to more than 70. There are fears that the death toll may even rise. The news reports even disclosed that there were innocent children among the dead and the wounded.
Abdul Karim Barahawi, the provincial governor, commenting on the incident said, "The attackers blew themselves up in crowded markets to target civilians, there was no government installation nearby." Mohd Musa Rasooli, the Nimroz Police Chief, disclosed that there were three policemen among the dead and said that the bombers had attacked not only a bazaar, but also the entrance to the local hospital.
The reports clearly show that the targets were the civilians. Taliban, on various occasions, have claimed that they would not target the civilians directly but Tuesday’s attack is totally against what is claimed by them. Though a recent UN report revealed that there has been a decline in the civilian casualties in the ongoing year as compared to the same period last year, the concerns still remain very much disturbing as the number of civilians being killed as a result of insurgency still remains very high.
The report also disclosed that about 80 percent of the civilian-killings resulted from the attacks of the Taliban insurgents. Tuesday’s killings, therefore, clearly depict that Taliban do not care much about the civilian casualties; what they mostly care about is their threat and dominancy over the security arrangements. Unfortunately, they pursue their objectives through the coward means of targeting the civilians.
It is not just about the suicide bombings, Taliban have continued their insurgency through different tactics, which include target-killings, road-side bombings, kidnapping for ransom and executing to establish their brand of justice.
In an incident earlier this week, Taliban militants assassinated a tribal elder, Shir Ahmad, in Shindabad district of western Herat province. The news reports suggest that the insurgents entered his house and murder him cold-bloodedly. His wife was injured during the attack.
In another incident a couple of days earlier in northern Takhar province, five people were killed, which included a district mayor and a local peace negotiator. The incident took place on the Ashkmash-Taloqan road and the dead included Ashkmash Mayor Abdul Aziz, High Peace Council (HPC) member Mohammad Hashim and three others. Taliban after the incident claimed the responsibility and confirmed the fact that they do not care much even about the honor of month of Ramadan. The members of HPC, who have been designated to fulfill the responsibility of facilitating peace talks with Taliban, have themselves been the victims of Taliban’s violence to a large extent.
In yet another incident, on Sunday, August 12, in eastern province of Nuristan, the Want Waigal Local Council Chief, Karim Khan, was kidnapped and taken to undisclosed location by the Taliban insurgents. The area from where Karim Khan was abducted is largely dominated by Taliban insurgents. Kidnapping has been one of the main tactics of Taliban, through which they are able to pressurize the government and at the same time they are able to grab large sum of money, which they mostly use for terrorist activities.
Taliban have been trying to a great extent to establish their brand of Islam and justice in Afghanistan. Every now and then different incidents in different parts of country prove the phenomenon. Few days earlier, Taliban insurgents, in Qarabagh district of eastern Ghazni province, hanged an Afghan man to death over charges of kidnapping. Such prosecutions by Taliban are not new; however, it is really threatening to see them coming back to country, many years after the downfall of their regime. Few weeks earlier, in Parwan province, not far away from the capital Kabul, a woman was shot dead in public over the charges of adultery.
Taliban have kept their violence and terroristic activities continued for the last few years and they have not even taken care of holy months of Islam, holy places and even innocent civilians. In the face of such hideous reality the Afghan government and the international community are earnest to bring Taliban to negotiation table while Taliban are earnest to show that they would prefer otherwise.
The talks of peace and reconciliation process to them are a game that they are playing so as to have a good bargain. It is difficult to believe that Taliban will ultimately settle for a political solution and will adhere to their promises of maintaining peace and tranquility in the country once they are given a share in the political authority sharing. And now as they see the withdrawal process to be completed soon, they prefer not to have peace talks at all and win a larger share through war.
The innocent people of Afghanistan deserve that the Afghan government and the international community must ensure to them a better future. The need to make sure that the post transition period in Afghanistan will be a period that can give poverty stricken Afghan people security and basic requirements of living; provide them better representation and participation in political and social life; make them capable of governing themselves appropriately.