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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid