The year 2018 started with the bloodshed in the waning Afghanistan. The first month of the year has brought huge catastrophe in the country through different blasts. It is very painful to see neighbouring country in such a turmoil where loss of innocent souls is because of wrong policies of international players and domestic precariousness. Within a short span of time different attacks occurred in the country creating much disturbance among masses and highlighting the failure of security apparatus. In one of first suicide attack which jolted Kabul caused death of 13 people and IS claimed the responsibility for the attack. Later few days back Taliban stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in a planned militant’s assault. The gunmen kept the staff hostage for more than 12 hours and fight continued with the target killing of foreigners in the hotel. Later the Afghan security forces cleared the complex attack venue. Visitors of the hotel already declared the security of the hotel insufficient and therefore it became an easy target for assault by the Taliban. Then an organization Save the Children office in Eastern Jalalabad was attacked killing at least five people and forced the organization to stop its working on urgent basis. IS claimed the responsibility of its attack on the foreign funded charity organization. Amid the high security alert issued for the Kabul and rest of Afghanistan, militants were again successful in lodging more assaults. On 28th of January, an explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others causing one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years. The blast happened in an area where several high-profile organisations, including the European Union, have offices. The Taliban used social media to claim responsibility for this attack, which comes exactly a week after its insurgents stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental hotel. The bedlam and bloodshed continued with a latest attack on Afghan Military Academy, where Islamic State claimed the responsibility of attack killed eleven soldiers.
Apparently, both Taliban and Islamic State have escalated their attacks in Afghanistan. This brings new USA’s more aggressive strategy for Afghanistan under spotlight. The attacks definitely have increased pressure on President Ashraf Ghani and his U.S. allies, who have time and again supported US policies and hoped that this new, more aggressive military strategy is successful in getting back Taliban insurgents from major provincial hubs. After the series of attacks and apparent tussle between Afghan insurgents and fate makers of Afghanistan, President Trump refused the idea of negotiations. Trump announced that “I don’t see any talking taking place. I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now. It’s a whole different fight over there. They’re killing people left and right. Innocent people are being killed left and right. When you see what they’re doing and the atrocities that they’re committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and children, it is horrible. We don’t want to talk to the Taliban. We’re going to finish what we have to finish, what nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it”.
President Trump’s statement appears as a hard core narrative for Afghanistan imbroglio. The country which is fighting with civil discord, frenzied social, political and economic situation has become an epi-center for power exercising by many transnational and indigenous thespians. Different analysts and policy makers now opine that to get out of Afghan quagmire, only dialogue and peace talks are the wise option. As the country has suffered enough because of wrong policies of world power and use of force and military might wasn’t able to bring the desired results for eradication of militancy in Afghanistan and restoring peace. Pakistan suffered most as the battle ground for war against terrorism was different but the aftershocks were more deadly than the tremors. Pakistan successfully tackled the menace of terrorism from its soil and defeated foreign interventions. However, in case of Afghanistan regime’s infrastructure is made up of Unity government. There are no doubts about Afghan government’s sincerity and efforts for bringing the desired peace and stability in Afghanistan; however the increased subversive activities of Taliban and other extremists groups have mesmerized the Afghan security apparatus, if the trend continued, there could be serious repercussions for the Afghan government. The attached hopes of Afghan people with the present Unity government for settling the political, security and economic condition of Afghanistan is still a mirage.
US strategy of sending more troops, increasing aerial strikes and practicing more harsh and aggressive policies apparently seem a failure. Pushing Taliban and insurgents for peace will never work out as they themselves have different approach towards Afghanistan mayhem. To have a win-win outcome, Afghanistan political domain has to come forward and approach different regional powers like Pakistan, China and Russia for peace initiatives. Not to forget the loopholes in previous peace processes, future strategies should be chalked out wisely.