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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid