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Editorial: Internal support required

The Taliban’s coordinated attack on the Greshk district headquarters ended on Thursday leaving all the ten attackers dead. Four policemen died and 12 others injured in the line of duty. The district in restive Helmand province is strategically very important. If such attacks continued it would bring the government’s capability to fight extremists under question. Sadly, the government’s capability in this regard is already open to doubts. The militant group is strong and has the capability to launch large-scale attacks. Increasing number of internally displaced persons is itself a distressing story of the government’s failure. The more the war displaces people, the more the leaders would lose public support.

Regardless of the end result, surge in terror attacks is eroding public support and the government would soon find itself abandoned. Therefore, the unity government should take security measures on war-footing. Currently, the biggest concern for the nation is lack of unity between leaders of the unity government. The US President Barack Obama’s recent telephonic conversation with the Afghan leaders has proved it. Obama stressed on consensus between the leaders. The sooner the two leaders are found on the same page about the security policies it would provide some relief to the nation. Both leaders are taking steps, though the outcome is still invisible.

It is welcoming that President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah want to remain clear in their approaches and address concerns of the nation. The two leaders have made it clear that they would not allow the anti-state elements to snatch people’s peace of mind and challenge writ of the government. President Ghani in his meeting with the National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel said that the current war was between wrong and the right. As he said, we have to build the country together. Thus, the president shall build national consensus about the peace talks with the Taliban. The government shall listen to voices of the public. The chief executive also pointed out that the militants have no respect for human rights and rejected the peace talks’ offer. Therefore, the government should convene a Loya Jirga to discuss the issue and find an agreeable solution.

Decision of the Loya Jirga about the peace mechanism and conditions of the Taliban would increase the government’s credibility. Not only the nation but international community would also respect decision of the Loya Jirga because it gave nod to the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US and SOFA with NATO. The Jirga also had the choice to discuss the alternative options to build support for the government and alienate the militants completely. Alienation of insurgent groups would be a biggest step towards victory.

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