News / Asia

Official: Taliban Violence Unlikely to Threaten Afghan Transitions

Afghan security forces escort a captured suspected Taliban insurgent during an operation in Jalalabad province in this June 19, 2013, file photo.Afghan security forces escort a captured suspected Taliban insurgent during an operation in Jalalabad province in this June 19, 2013, file photo.
x
Afghan security forces escort a captured suspected Taliban insurgent during an operation in Jalalabad province in this June 19, 2013, file photo.
Afghan security forces escort a captured suspected Taliban insurgent during an operation in Jalalabad province in this June 19, 2013, file photo.
Ayaz Gul
Despite a recent spike in deadly Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, authorities there are confident the insurgent violence is unlikely to disrupt next April’s presidential election or pose a major security challenge to Afghan forces past 2014, when NATO will have ended its military mission in the country.

The past week has witnessed a dramatic rise in Taliban attacks in several Afghan provinces that killed more than 100 people.  Interior ministry officials in Kabul say most of the victims were civilians.

On Sunday, President Hamid Karzai appointed Kabul’s ambassador to neighboring Pakistan, Umer Daudzai, as acting interior minister.

Speaking to VOA just days before assuming his new responsibilities, Ambassador Daudzai dismissed concerns Afghan forces will be unable to manage national security after most NATO forces leave the country by end of next year.

“The vacuum they create by drawing down will be met by the Afghan forces and the Afghan forces are tuned into that.  They have been trained, coached, equipped for that purpose.  We do not buy into those worries that with NATO forces may leave and the country may go back into chaos. No, there is no will to do that and there is no reason to think like that,” said Daudzai.

He said some foreign forces will remain in the country after 2014 to assist and advise the Afghan security forces.

Daudzai rejected worries the absence of a peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban could undermine the April presidential election.

He added efforts are underway to engage the rebels in a political reconciliation process.

“If there is progress on the negotiations and they come forward to negotiating table and we have a negotiating settlement, that’s great.  If not, I do not think they have that much power to prevent elections.  I think elections will take place because it is the will of the Afghan people.”

Daudzai also insisted it is not possible for an armed group to undo the progress Afghanistan has made in the past decade in areas such as security, education, political and legal reforms, civil society, and women’s rights. 

Negotiating with the Taliban

Under a U.S. peace plan, the Taliban was allowed to open a political office in Qatar to engage in peace talks with American and Afghan negotiators.

But President Karzai pulled out of the process to protest direct talks between the United States and the Taliban before any talks with his representatives.  He visited Pakistan last week hoping leaders there could use their influence with the Taliban to bring them to the table with Afghan negotiators. 

Karzai apparently returned to Kabul without reporting progress in his mission. 

Speaking to reporters Sunday in Kabul, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Janan Mosazai urged Pakistan to deliver on commitments it made in talks with the Afghan president.

“I am not going to give you the details of those specific decisions, but our expectation is that the government of Pakistan will take specific and concrete steps to implement the decisions that were reached with the Afghan government during President Karzai’s visit to Islamabad," said Mosazai.
 
Pakistani officials say Islamabad has assured the Afghan leadership it will do its best to promote the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.  But they are not sure whether Taliban leaders can be persuaded to negotiate peace with President Karzai’s team.

The insurgent group has long rejected the Afghan leader as an “American puppet.”

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid