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Taliban tops the killers’ list

Sadly enough, civilian casualties have reached their highest level since the United Nations began keeping detailed records six years ago, the international agency reported Wednesday. While the number of deaths during the first six months of the year fall slightly from the same time period of last year, the number of injured rose up. The overall casualties reached 4,921, a one percent rise from 2014, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said. This conflict-riddled country has become dangerous to live in particularly during the past decade where people live only by chance as no one can say with surety that he will go to the university and come back home safely while not coming across a bomb blast. Such is the life of Afghans at the hands of the insurgents and still they say they are fighting for the salvation of the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban are not alone in the bloodshed but the major powers of the world as well in the blood-spill of the people of Afghanistan particularly the United States, a state that first launched its anti-USSR war in Afghanistan and then an international war on terror, that not only left millions homeless, but thousands of thousands were killed and countless with disabilities. However, now the responsibility and blame solely is on the Taliban as the environment for peace negotiations is quite rife and if they still cling to prolonging to the war, none is to be blamed except the Taliban.  This is extremely unfortunate that the new leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in his first audio message talked of keeping the war continued. The continuation of the war means more deaths, more terror and grief, however, at the same time, the internal rifts among the Taliban leaders is no less than a glad tiding as it has already dealt a heavy blow and given that the government exploit the situation for security gains, the strength and unity of the Taliban could successfully be weakened. The rifts are serious enough to make the Taliban weaken to the extent of irreparability as the Taliban’s Qatar office chief negotiator, Sayed Tayab Agha also stepped down over the selection of Mullah Mansoor as the new leader of the Taliban. Agha in his statement criticized the way Mullah Mansoor was selected as the new leader. In his farewell statement his tone was pro-peace talks and moderate, and he also said that the Taliban should handled all its affairs from within Afghanistan. He lambasted as why Mullah Omar’s death was kept secret for almost two years. All these developments have raised many concerns in the hearts and minds of the key Taliban leaders regarding Pakistan as for them Islamabad is no more a trustworthy partner. In such a situation, ceasefire must be a must for peace talks with the Taliban as the government and the Taliban must think of the civilians who are the worst victims of the war. If there is no ceasefire, the talks wouldn’t bear the desired results.

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