The dawn of Monday brought some bad news for the nation including attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif and two suicide blasts in the capital city, Kabul. These news reports projected a negative security picture of the country. International community and most of Afghans were caught by pessimism. However, there is always another side of the story but we have to open our eyes and minds. We shall not only count the failures but successes as well. We shall not see the situation from our own perspective based on miscalculations and biased opinions but from broader regional and global perspective.
When Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and Mali are under crippling pressure in the fight against extremism and militancy, Afghanistan is showing tremendous progress despite having minimum resources. Nigeria witnessed the world’s deadliest insurgency in 2014; though, the Nigerian forces had to deal with only one terrorist organization, Boko Haram. Likewise, Somalia also failed to eliminate al-Shabab. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) along with a couple of other terrorist organizations waged a civil war in Mali. In Iraq around 17,049 people were killed in 2014, excluding combatant deaths. Last year was also deadliest for Iraq after the Islamic State captured more areas. Iraqi forces are dealing mainly with Daesh. From March to August 2015, nearly 1,950 civilians lost their lives and 4,271 more were injured in the Yemen conflict. In Pakistan, Daesh has more support than Afghanistan. Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farooq, who killed 14 people and injured 22 others in the US, were Pakistanis and had links with Daesh. The Middle Eastern group has several sponsors in Pakistan. Women are campaigning for the terrorist group in Karachi. Fortunately, Afghan soil has not been used against any country.
Now look at the ground situation in Afghanistan to know how tough and successful our security forces are. Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) are fighting about a dozen insurgent and terrorist groups. According to security officials, there are over 7,000 foreign militants in the country. The ANSF depend on the coalition forces when it comes only to air support. The security forces had inflicted heavy casualties on insurgents since January 2015. After shouldering security responsibilities, Afghan security forces had rarely approached the NATO’s Resolute Support mission for support because they wanted to prove their mettle to those who were saying that the Taliban would once again establish their rule in the country. Fall of Kunduz for a brief period and fighting in Sangin district were the tests that the ANSF had passed successfully and proved that they have the ability to defend every single inch of Afghan soil. Backbone of Daesh had already been broken. Foreign terrorists are on the run to save their skins. The Taliban are no more able to launch potent attacks.
Therefore, Afghans shall be more optimistic than ever because the worst is gone and the better is waiting.