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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid