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As peace talks flounder, violence fills the void

By Mujeeb R. Awrang

KABUL: While the delegations of the Afghan government and the Taliban are engaged in intra-Afghan negotiations, extreme violence has been taking massive toll on Afghan people, killing and wounding hundreds of people across the country. Both the Taliban and government forces suffer casualties – both are Afghans – and that is the reality of war in a war weary country. This high level of violence brought many watchdogs organizations to the state of worry. The Amnesty International called on the international community to give a serious attention to the situation in Afghanistan. It also termed the October as deadliest month of the year for Afghans. Based on the Amnesty International, at least 180 civilians were killed and 370 others maimed in the ongoing violence. Unfortunately, the casualties on civilians were inflicted both by Afghan security forces and the Taliban. After the negotiation teams of the government and Taliban failed to reach a solution to a couple of controversial issues of the intra-Afghan negotiations, the militants begun offensive and print a horror scene of itself across the country.

The insurgents set attacks on the security checkpoints in southern Helmand province in early of this month, in which according to Afghan officials, more than 80 Taliban were killed and dozens of others wounded. But what the clashes left behind was the displacement of nearly 5,000 families in the province. Furthermore, in an airstrike conducted by the Afghan security forces on a seminary in Qaraloq district of northern Takhar province, at least 12 teenagers were killed and 18 others wounded.

The ongoing violence not only takes the lives of our people but give a doubtful image to the Afghan peace process. It is really ridicules that we have high level of violence and fragile peace negotiations all in parallel to each other. What war and violence bring us is tragedy – and that is a simple fact. In the meantime, there are many complicated questions and worries in our people’s minds; many doubts that what if the ongoing peace negotiations not succeeded and the militants stay on their relentless stance, what if the US withdraws before the government and Taliban forge a peace deal or a power sharing agreement, what if the current status keeps going for years and so…

The best for our country could be to not let the peace talks fail but off course with the perseverance of some achievements gained during 19 years. And that is possible when we are together united and make a proper policy to take advantage of such chances and rescue our country from extreme misery.

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