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Helmand under siege

The roaring and raging beast of terrorism and insurgency has made the public concerned about their future. Unfortunately, for the government hour has not come to wake up from slumber and revisit the security policies and leash militancy. Helmand

Calls for help made from the provinces are falling on the deaf ears of policymakers in the corridors of power. The misfortune of the nation is that the leaders are chalking out politically motivated security policies. Politics-based security policies are always short-term and narrow in scope. Such policies are found to be full of loopholes. Where politics is involved the speed to achieve the goals remains unsteady. Security strategies based on politics serve the individuals more than the nation.

On the contrary, policies focusing on security goals rather than political interests provide relief to public. Such policies are drafted after comprehensive debates while keeping the ground realities in view. The sole objective of these policies is to improve security across the country while dealing with the anti-state elements with iron hands. Politics is kept at bay to achieve this goal. Human and financial resources are used carefully. Advancement of security forces in the volatile areas and offensive mode are used as a scale to gauge success. So far, it is very clear that most of the policies are short term. Appointments and reshuffle of high-ranking officials give weight to this notion.

On the ground, the Taliban have become bolder. They have launched a series of attacks in strategically important areas. Over 80 percent of Helmand and Kunduz provinces are under the militant group’s control. The writ of the government is limited only to the provincial centers. In Badakhshan, Nuristan and Kunar the situation can become worse anytime because the Taliban have established bases in these provinces. The unity government yet to clear Ghazni, Logar, Pakita, Paktika, Khost, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces from the local and foreign militants. Deployment of foreign troops in the highly insecure provinces can push back the militants for a while but not for long time.

The US has recently sent forces to Helmand province to support the Afghan troops against the Taliban. The decision has helped to repel the insurgent attacks and keep control over the Lashkargah which was on the verge of collapse. The presence of American forces in Helmand reflects the policies of the United States. Therefore, the Afghan officials and leaders shall not take credit for it. Security officials in the province have repeatedly complained about lack of food and weapons. They felt abandoned by the central government.

It is time to restore trust of the provincial authorities over the central government by crafting result-oriented security policies.


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