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Editorial: Enemies sabotaging peace process

Either the peace efforts symbolized by the warring parties aren’t sincere or regional sponsors of proxies and terrorist outfits cannot tolerate to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. In a fresh bout of violence, two deadly terrorist attacks inflicted horrors that words could not do justice to. Terrorists stormed a maternity hospital west of Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people, including four women and children while more than 23 people were killed in a suicide bombing at the funeral for a former Afghan Local Police commander in the Khewa district of eastern Nangarhar. These represent the major attacks happening on the same day whereas dozens of other similar incidents go unnoticed on a daily basis in Afghanistan. Although no group has so far claimed the heinous attack on the hospital, President Ashraf Ghani has blamed both the Taliban and Daesh. Meanwhile, Deash took credit for the bombing in Nangarhar. In the aftermath of these acts of evil that show an appalling degree of inhumanity, President Ghani has directed security forces to come out of defensive position and adopt offensive posture but it remains to be seen what this intensified violence from warring parties – especially the Taliban and the government – means for the peace process, which is on the threshold of being in tatters due to trust deficit and non-implementation of US-Taliban peace pact. The disturbing increase in violence comes at a time when Afghanistan is already being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps the hospital attack might not have been carried out by the Taliban but they are the ones who have provided the platform and conducive environment for other terrorist groups, such as Daesh, to operate and thrive. The situation in Afghanistan has come to a pretty pass as war has turned into an ambiguous practice where the distinction between enemies and innocents is blurred. These indiscriminate killings and sheer level of brutality are unprecedented, which predominantly stem from the Taliban’s refusal to agree on a ceasefire, as well as the internal political instability within the Afghan government due to a power tussle. If President Ghani and so-called President Abdullah haven’t preoccupied the country with their power struggles, at least more attention could have been paid to the security of Afghans and the thwarting of such attacks. At this juncture and in honor of the holy month of Ramadan, the Taliban and the government should cease their armed actions and pave the ground for a dialogue and sustainable peace. It’s because they should have realized by now that there other elements operating on the behest of foreigners to continue bloodshed in the country and sabotage the peace process. Therefore, if the Taliban has the slightest sense of humanity, they should agree to a ceasefire, something absolutely vital now, and in this manner bring the perpetrators of such attacks to justice in cooperation with the government. Otherwise, announcing to resume strikes against the Taliban, which the militant group has vowed to counter, is what Afghanistan enemies wish for as they are adding fuel to incite these parties to continue war. The belligerent parties should know better than playing into the hands of enemies’ designs and be cognizant of the fact that going back to battlefield after these developments in the peace process is repeating the same old same old violence at the expense of innocent Afghans.

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