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Editorial: Growing exasperation

The government had lulled people into thinking that their lives and properties are protected. The false sense of security has failed to gain a foothold in minds of people. Fragile security situation is exposing the strength and strategies of all those, in the power corridors, who promised to provide relief to the nation while neutralizing the existing and potential threats. After Mullah Mansoor was killed in the US drone strike, most of Afghan authorities hoped that security situation would improve, at least a few notches. However, it proved no more than an illusion dragging the policymakers away from ground realities.

Constantly changing security policies of the government has emboldened Taliban. The flawed strategies are costing lives of people in different parts of the country. On Tuesday, Taliban militants brutally killed 12 passengers in Kunduz—a province overtaken by ill-trained and equipped Taliban fighters last year in September. The militant group has kidnapped over 220 passengers on the Kabul-Kunduz Highway in Aliabad district. White bearded men were also among those killed by the extremists. It is very unfortunate that the government has first lost the province to the insurgents, a biggest victory for the Taliban since their fall in 2001, and then failed to secure it after regaining the control with the help of foreign troops.

Despite repeated requests for improved security on the highway and operations against insurgents in Chardara and other districts, the government remained busy in other jobs such as hiring, firing and reshuffle of officials. Improved security is not only a wild-goose chase in Kunduz but Helmand is also on the verge of collapse to the Taliban if additional troops were not sent to the volatile province. As per information provided by the members of provincial council, the Taliban dominate Marja, Greshk, Nahr Saraj, and Nad Ali districts. The militant group is planning a large-scale attack on the provincial capital, Lashkargah. Scores of civilians and policemen were killed and injured in the past three days.

Internal displacement is another serious challenge for the nation, riding on wings of insecurity. According to a report of the Amnesty International, the number of internally displaced people has doubled to 1.2 million since 2013. Looking at the overall situation, it is easy to guess where the government is standing. Struggle over key posts, agreements, reforms and laws have landed the leaders in the troubled waters. As the security policies are in tatters, restoring public trust has become a tight rope walk for the government.

To establish writ of the government in volatile areas and bridge the ever-widening trust deficit, the leaders should interact with locals instead of relying on the inconclusive reports, because most of local authorities do not want to report reality due to fear of termination.

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