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Editorial: A deliberate abandonment

An astonishing effort is on the cards by the Taliban across the country to convince the Afghan security forces to abandon their posts or surrender to the group in return for guaranteeing their safe passage. With the help of the tribal elders, the Taliban are looking for more districts and also negotiating the surrender of the army and the district centers. Unfortunately there are some reports that the Afghan forces abandoned outposts and bases without resistance. Their equipment also fell to the Taliban. Within some hours security forces evacuated Saghar district in Ghor, Arghandab district in Zabul and Posht Rod and Lash districts in Farah. Local mediators, who are favoring the Taliban, are the major problem who is mediating between the Afghan government and the Taliban causing security forces to retreat. Though some of these mediators have been arrested, the threat is still high. The interior ministry can’t rely on mere detention. A large-scale operation is the need of the hour to not only arrest other elders who deliberately want the fall out of the districts plus convince the Afghan forces to abandon their outposts. Many districts have fallen to the Taliban or have been evacuated after being under siege in the last two months. Taliban has launched a massive propaganda by giving a forgiveness message as it described it the Voice of Jihad. Probably these local mediators are helping them a lot. The Taliban also in different statements are now trying to deliver a message of amnesty and pardon and show mercy to the Afghan forces who surrender to them. They are time and again trying to show that they have no intention of revenge. Apparently Taliban are winning in its propaganda staffing as many districts have already collapsed. At a time when the foreign troops are withdrawing, this could be very dangerous with dire consequences if the people start believing in the Taliban or to surrender to the group for protection of their lives and their families. This puzzle has to be ended; the Afghan security forces must not deceive the Taliban to leave their base or surrender to them because such a move will also weaken the perspective of the ongoing but fragile peace process. Taliban are still in a daydream of military victory, that’s why they are not much interested in any political settlement or political compromise.  It’s time for a reform and the ministries of defense and interior must come up to the fore and fill the security vacuum in the immediate move to prevent irrefutable catastrophe.

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