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Editorial: Dying insurgency

Since January tens of men in uniform were killed in the line of duty. This year was also bloody in terms of civilian casualties. Scores of civilians were killed in Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul, Uruzgan, Kunduz and other provinces. The insurgent groups, backed by foreign terrorists and state actors in the region, were hoping that they could add significant victories to their portfolio this year. Large-scale attacks in the southern and northern parts were part of this strategy. Afghan security forces have faced some problems such as lack of leadership, logistics and reinforcement. However, they never allowed the enemy to score. The warm season fighting is over. Strategies of militants did not work and their hopes shattered to the ground.

In the winter season, the Taliban and Haqqani Network will continue on-off attacks to show their presence. They will focus on major cities especially the capital city, Kabul, to give a message to the international community that they are still strong and have the ability to hit their targets. This is not a new and strange tactic of the militants. In guerrilla warfare targeting government officials or lawmakers does not come as surprise. In countries like Afghanistan, harsh weather and tough terrain makes fighting more difficult. Despite that the government forces did well. They had proved their mettle in the pitched battles against insurgent outfits.

Attacks on members of the Wolesi Jirga in Kabul city are inhumane. But it was expected that the militants would continue to target rivals in winter. As a matter of fact, the miscreants know that they are no stronger anymore and facing a humiliating defeat. The international community also knows that the Taliban are divided and could not score on the battlefield. Afghans are confident that militants would either accept the peace process or defeat. The insurgent movement will take last breath in 2017, if Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan do not support them.

Still, attacks on the parliamentarians are a matter of grave concern. The security fabric should cover all the anti-militant figures. The government shall not allow the dying insurgency to claim lives of more innocent people. Security of those who stood the ground against the Taliban should be increased. In addition to that, the government should take the reports of Russia, China and Iran support to the Taliban seriously. Kabul should take the issue to the United Nations Security Council if Moscow, Tehran and Beijing provided financial, intelligence or diplomatic support to Afghan insurgents. Afghan government shall not allow them to follow in the footsteps of Pakistan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall lodge protest against establishment of direct contacts between the Taliban and neighboring countries that we thought are our friends. Unfortunately, the foreign ministry has not summoned Iranian, Chinese or Russian ambassadors to Kabul. Afghanistan and Pakistan are engaged in a declared war because the former does not recognize the Durand Line. If Russia, China and Iran do not cut relations with Afghan insurgents it would be an undeclared war against Afghanistan.

Therefore, Afghan policymakers shall keep all options available on the table aimed at fighting the declared and undeclared wars.

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