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Afghanistan, Why Does Violence Continue Even After Deal With Taliban?

Alwaght – The US-Taliban peace deal that was supposed to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan appears to be turning into a cause for escalating tensions and violence in the war-ravaged country.

In the latest development, two employees of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission were killed by a bomb planted in their car. Less than two weeks ago, the terrorists assassinated at least three pro-unity religious scholars, signaling the situation is heading to further deterioration in the Central Asian state. 

Also, the country’s National Security Council in a report published recently said a week in June was the “deadliest” week of violence in nearly 20 years of the home conflict, killing about 290 security forces and army troops last week. 

Taliban group’s attacks over the past three months grew 40 percent compared to the same period last year, Javid Faisal, National Security Council’s spokesman, told the media. 

Haider Afzali, a member of the Defense Commission of the parliament, commented on the surging violence in the country, saying that since the Americans signed an accord with the Taliban in Qatar on February 29, Kabul grew “deep” concerns. 

“The only party that has benefited from this agreement is the Taliban whose prisoners were released from the government prisons according to the deal. Taliban, who throughout 2019 kept away from their advancement plans now have developed temerity and expanded their attacks,” Afzali was quoted as saying. 

Government officials say that the Taliban is taking advantage of the conflict’s “gray zones” which are being completed amid the presence and activity of ISIS terrorist organization’s remains, at a time coronavirus outbreak crisis is taking its toll on the already-ramshackle Afghanistan economy. 

Why have Afghanistan security conditions gone exacerbated? 

There is no doubt in the complications of Afghanistan’s conditions. The insecurity has heightened but the responsibility for that is now less than before shouldered by the Taliban. That is what adds to the intricacy of the circumstances in the conflict-weary country. 

Before this, a majority of the operations against the civilians or the security forces by the militia groups were claimed by the attacking groups. Now the partisan attacks are on the rise but little happens for the groups to claim responsibility for them. 

The essential point is that now the Afghanistan conditions are shrouded in further mystery and vagueness. It is not clear to Kabul that in addition to the Taliban which militant groups want to challenge the central government. This issue mainly has its roots in the multitude of the armed groups founded with their main agenda being confrontation of Kabul government. 

What armed groups are active? 

Some political experts and observes of Afghanistan developments suggest that the complicated security conditions in the country stem from inter-Taliban divisions. But it should be taken into account that the group’s fraction is not something new. In fact, the Taliban comprises several factions with diverse agendas and different approaches to the home peace process. 

Although the main nucleus of the group, which has an official representation office in Qatar, temporarily and conditionally accepted peace with the US, there are fellow factions who view the peace process differently, insisting that the dialogue with the US as an occupying force is illegitimate and thus unacceptable. 

Just a couple of years ago, two commanders of the Taliban’s defected factions said that they picked a new leader in the challenge of new Taliban leadership and will act independently. They named Mullah Mohamad Raoul Akhond as their new leader. They added that they did not seek war against new central leader Mullah Mansour and will focus on the “old enemies” and will fight on separate fronts. 

In addition to the Taliban, other armed groups are also highly active in Afghanistan. In 2018, a US report held that at least 21 militia groups were active on the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, dubbed Durand Line. 

Here is a list of their names according to the US: Tahreek-e-Taliban of Afghanistan, Haqqani Network, Jammat Dawa al- Quran, Asia Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in South Asia, Mujahedeen Party, Mullah Nazir-led Taliban, Tahreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan, Islamic Jihad Movement, Islamic Jihad Movement of Bangladesh, Lashkar Jahangoy, Mujahedeen Movement, Jaysh Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Tariq Gaydar Group, Jammat Ahrar, Jundullah, Tahreek-e-Islami of Uzbekistan, Islamic Movement of Turkmenistan, and Islamic Jihad Union. 

The large number of the armed groups active in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan stands as a reason for further complicated conditions in the war-hit country. 

Partial state building, the US gift to Afghanistan 

What is taking place now in Afghanistan is continued insecurity and instability in a country grappling with war for decades. Continuation of the insecurity under the shadow of the US-Taliban peace agreement is very worrisome. The ongoing violence after the Doha agreement suggests that there should be no optimism about the return of normal conditions and stability in the country even if a peace deal is inked.

Contrary to the dominant vision, the Afghanistan problem is not the disputes between the Taliban and the central government. Actually, the problem is that the new political system foundation was laid in 2001 without a consensus of all of the groups active in the country. Many of them, including the Taliban and others, were driven out of the power circle, making the state boiling a partial and defective process. Such a partial political system itself stands as a cause of the instability and violence in the country.

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