News / Asia

Violence, Political Uncertainty Plague Post-Jirga Afghanistan

Sean Maroney

Since Afghan President Hamid Karzai's much anticipated peace assembly earlier this month, the Taliban has launched a series of high profile attacks.  Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal says the fight against the Taliban will take longer than anticipated in the south.  

Analysts say several high profile attacks this week show the Taliban will not back down as coalition and Afghan forces prepare for a major offensive to drive them from their southern stronghold in Kandahar province.

Afghan authorities are blaming the Taliban for an attack on a wedding late Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, which killed nearly 40 people.  The Taliban deny responsibility, but the groom had links to anti-Taliban groups.  Also, Monday was the deadliest day so far this year for international forces in Afghanistan. Ten NATO soldiers, seven of them Americans, were killed in separate attacks in the eastern and southern parts of the country that day.

With this new violence, the director of Afghanistan's Center for Research and Policy Studies, Haroun Mir, said that he believes next month's scheduled international conference in Kabul might not happen.

"I don't think that it would be appropriate for a foreign minister from Europe to attend [the] Kabul conference when we know that there's a huge risk, tremendous risk, that they could be eliminated by one rocket attack," said Haroun Mir. "All we need is one rocket attack, and all these ministers are flying back to their homes and that would be a big humiliation."

Even the top U.S. commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal, said this week he expects the Kandahar offensive to take longer than anticipated.

"There are going to be tough days ahead," said General McChrystal. "Violence is up, and I think violence will continue to rise, particularly over the summer months.  It is necessary that we roll back Taliban influence as we move toward increased security in the future."

But McChrystal says that despite the violence, he thinks the perception of the insurgent's momentum is reversing.

It's this reversal in momentum that President Karzai and analysts hope will convince the Taliban to sit down for peace talks.

But Amrullah Saleh has a different idea.  Saleh is the former head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security.  He resigned from the post, along with the country's interior minister, following the insurgent attack on the peace jirga earlier this month.

Saleh criticized Mr. Karzai for wanting to reconcile with the Taliban.

"I want a dignified peace, a peace which will not reverse our achievements, a peace which will not undermine our constitution, a peace which will not allow a small terrorist group to dominate the political scene in Afghanistan," said Amrullah Saleh. "Therefore, I am in favor of peace but I am against bowing to the Taliban."

He also has said that he believes President Karzai is taking a softer approach toward Pakistan in a bid to negotiate with the Taliban.  Saleh referred to Pakistan as Afghanistan's enemy number one for its alleged support of the Taliban.

Ayaz Wazir is Pakistan's former ambassador to Kabul.  He said that he disagrees with Saleh, and he wonders about his motives for making these statements now, especially after his resignation.

"Had Pakistan been the 'enemy number one', then why was the intelligence chief not saying so before?  Now when he is resigned, he is accusing [a] neighboring country," said Ayaz Wazir.

In another blow to the coalition, Britain's newly elected government says it will not pledge more troops, despite being one of America's biggest partners in the country since the toppling of the Taliban-led government in 2001.

Haroun Mir with Afghanistan's Center for Research and Policy Studies says all these factors teach the Taliban an important lesson.

"You know with one [or] three rocket fires, they were able to get the resignations of two important ministers, and now the NATO  countries have lost their will," he said.

He also says it seems unlikely that the Taliban will want to negotiate if they believe they have the upper hand against a coalition in flux and what Mir calls a dysfunctional government.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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 US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
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.

AppleAndroid