After the fall of a district in Badakhshan and many villages in Kunduz province that fell to the Taliban, now it is Nawzad district in Helmand province collapsed into the hands of the Taliban on Wednesday. The defense ministry denied the reports but there must be a probe to establish the truth. An intense fighting has been reported over the past two days. And finally the unfortunate happened—the fall of the district to the Taliban. Here the government looks busy in making the people believe that they are inching closure to a peace deal with the insurgents and there the Taliban are claiming capture of districts after districts and villages after villages. Given the deteriorating security situation, falling image of the government, and murky nature of the peace talks, President Ashraf Ghani hangs by a thread. Over the past two days the skirmishes in Nawzad district killed nine policemen and seven security troops whereas the entire district fall to the Taliban, according to a senator Hashim Alkozai. The problem is the government’s neglect as last year a number of residents and local security officials in the districts had raised their concerns over the likely fall of the district but no proper attention was given and the finally the same happened. The comments of the district governor, Sayed Murad Sadaat are alarming. He said security situation is worsened where the writ of the government is only limited to the government buildings and some smaller areas. Though the fall of district is the part of the larger issue of security across the country as just one incident didn’t make it happen but under a quick fix the government must deploy additional troops to the district. What is more dismaying are the reports that say the infrastructure remains still poor in many parts of the province and jobless rate is ever higher with poverty rate growing. Against such a backdrop, the government must kick start some development projects and create job opportunities as the jobless youths easily get towards militancy. Over the past few days, the Taliban have captured Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province and several villages in northern Kunduz provinces besides a district in Badakhshan province. The government is too focused on peace talks and international front to tame terror while the situation on the ground suggests the government must focus on defense and domestic front as well. Forging alliances with regional and international powers is a must and no one can ignore its importance but given the nature the complex nature of security challenges, it must increase its efforts on domestic front as well. The use of force must increase.
Once the Taliban realize they cannot stand before the military might of Afghanistan, then they will have no other option but to agree to ceasefire amid peace talks. As the country ploughs through its 14th year of conflict and negotiates with Taliban to restore peace, the current political set up must take a sober look at the military and diplomatic actions and how the former government had characterized its involvement. Though war and militancy is a road that never takes us to safety but ruins however if the use of force is the solution the government shouldn’t hesitate from its use as the Taliban know the language of force only.