Afghan Conflict Rages Despite Efforts for Peace
Fighting continues to grip Afghanistan despite political efforts for peace within the country and international and regional appeals to the warring sides to agree on a ceasefire.
Afghan officials have persistently stated that the escalation of violence in the country shows the #aliban’s unwillingness for peace. But the Taliban have categorically said that they will continue their military campaign until the peace negotiation process reaches a conclusion.
Afghanistan’s ordinary citizens, the victims of the war, have called on the warring factions to show flexibility and make compromises to help ensure the talks yield an outcome to end the deadly conflict.
At the international level, the UN, US, NATO and the European Union (EU) have persistently called on the warring sides to announce a ceasefire, but to no avail.
“The killing of the civilians and the military forces increased, but the peace process did not leave anything positive, this is shameful for both sides, this is completely unacceptable to the Afghan nation,” said Hashmat, a resident of Kabul.
“We are wondering when we will reach peace. Every single day our youth are sacrificed,” said Shafiullah, a resident of Kabul.
Muslim clerics have also tried to persuade the Taliban to stop the violence and make peace.
In recent weeks, clerics from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, and Palestine have described the ongoing war in Afghanistan as illegitimate, from an Islamic standpoint.
“The war has no religious legitimacy in Afghanistan, and the group that insists on war in fact commits an illegitimate act,” said Salim Hussaini, a cleric.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan during his state visit in Kabul said that “Pakistan will do everything and whatever is possible to reduce violence” in Afghanistan.
“We are assuring you that we will do more than your expectation,” Khan told President Ashraf Ghani.
“The whole idea to coming at the time that violence is increasing here is to show you Mr President that we, the people of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan, has only one concern about what you are feeling. We want peace for people of Afghanistan which are suffering in the past four decades,” Khan said.
But the Taliban’s spokesman said that their military campaign will continue unless a peace agreement is finalized.
“The only way for the Taliban is to get the advantage of the opportunity. The Afghan people are ready to accept the Taliban, but within the framework of a defined political structure, so the Taliban need to endorse a ceasefire,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“A military solution is not acceptable to us and the people of Afghanistan at any cost. In this case, each of us with a million-strong army--20 million of the young and educated generation of Afghanistan--is prepared to stand against totalitarianism,” said Mohammad Younus Qanooni, former vice president to Hamid Karzai.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Friday said that the Taliban has continued to stage attacks on a daily basis in at least 22 provinces of the country over the past week, and stated that the group’s unstopped attacks were against the spirit of a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and are in clear opposition to the will of the Afghan people for peace.
Based on the statistics, the Taliban conducted attacks and other security-related activities in at least 23 provinces of the country over the past 24 hours.
“The Taliban has kept violence very high, which is against the will of the people of Afghanistan, but members of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces are retaliating harshly to all these attacks to ensure the safety and the security of the people," said Fawad Aman, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense. "The Taliban suffered a heavy human toll as a result of counterattacks.”
Deadliest country to be a civilian
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says "Afghanistan is one of the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian and that 50% of the country lives somewhere highly affected by armed conflict.