Thursday, 13 October 2016

The people of Afghanistan need safety and political stability before economic growth and development

The overall security situation of Afghanistan is of serious concern. The capitals of five provinces are on the verge of collapse to the Taliban, while the fall of districts has become a routine matter. Nearly every week, one or two districts fall into the hands of militants, and are then retaken by government forces. Even in the current critical situation, some government officials make irresponsible remarks to try to manipulate public perceptions. Recently, first VicePresident of Afghanistan Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum has stressed that he would purge Kunduz of militants in a few days if authorized by the National Security Council. Gen. Dostum’s statements are in an absolute contradiction with the realities of the Afghan conflict and his past actions. A few months back, he launched military operations against the insurgents in northern Faryab province, which did more harm than good. His militiamen committed human rights violations that were also exposed later in a report released by the Human Rights Watch (HRW). Moreover, the operations led by him failed to crush rebels as they retook all areas soon after he headed back to Kabul. Accordingly, if Gen. Dostum travels to Kunduz to lead counter Taliban offensive, the result will be similar to that of Faryab. Taking into account the complexity of the Afghan war, it is certain that it cannot be won by hollow mottos. Facebook photos and mendacious assurances through the media also cannot save the people from the scourge of the ongoing foreign war. Instead of demagogic moves, it is necessary to seek a permanent solution to the war, and the best option to achieve lasting peace and stability is to talk to the Taliban, and their repeated refusal to come to the negotiating table should not be used as a justification to protract the war, because peace remains the highest priority for the people of Afghanistan. Progress and development are impossible without having peace in the county. Not billions, but even trillions of dollars in international aid cannot heal the wounds of Afghans if we continue to remain embroiled in war. The people of Afghanistan need safety and political stability before economic growth and development. Currently, the National Unity Government neither has the ability to contain the war nor it prioritizes peace parleys with the Taliban, leading to more bloodshed and further loss of welfare opportunities in the country.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author [Heart of Asia] and do not necessarily represent those of Ivo R.Toniut.

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