A United Nation Security Council report released on Wednesday said that an emboldened Taliban poses a severe and expanding threat to the government of Afghanistan, remains close to al-Qaeda, and believes it can return to power by force if necessary.
The report compiled by the UN Monitoring Team, which is tasked with tracking security threats in Afghanistan, paints a bleak picture of the security outlook. The UNSC report comes halfway through the US and foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan – a retrograde expected to be finished by September 11.
The UN Monitoring Team says the Taliban remains “closely aligned” with al-Qaeda — which has threatened “war on all fronts” against the US. The two groups “show no indication of breaking ties,” even if they have temporarily tried to mask their connections, according to the report, although it notes that the Taliban calls this “false information.”
According to the UN report, 2020 was the “most violent year ever recorded by the United Nations in Afghanistan.” Security incidents have risen over 60% in the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
The Taliban are said to be behind many civilian casualties as they have continued their ties with the international terrorist groups. Officials said that the Taliban sought concessions at the negotiating table and are unwilling to declare ceasefire or reduce their violence. Considering the group’s lack of commitment, the Afghan government has repeatedly asked international community to join hand in pushing the group for ceasefire and cutting ties with other terror groups.
The Taliban have been vague, and their views have been changing regarding the talks. They never clearly pointed out their plans regarding the future political structure, women’s rights, Constitution, Sharia Law, and power-sharing.
No Afghan can be found to have an idea about the Taliban vision regarding the future government system or their ideology. Afghans still do not know whether or not the Taliban’s ideology has changed regarding women’s rights. On the one hand, the Taliban said their ideology has been moderated; on the other hand, they still conduct field courts on the basis of their fundamental ideology.
To put it succinctly, the Taliban leadership has continued talk-talk and fight-fight strategy and, as the Afghan negotiating team encountered many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, there is serious doubt if the Taliban are really seeking peace. The Taliban’s on and off the table indicates that their decisions are made based on the advice of their supporters.
Indeed, the group is not independent, but being supporting by certain countries. Taliban’s persistence on their own demands and preconditions without respecting those of their negotiating counterparts indicates their insincerity in the talks.
The group gained international recognition and their fighters were released from Afghanistan’s jails, but it neither reduced violence nor continued the dialogue with genuine intention. The worst is that their fighters returned to the battlefields.
The group has not respected the deal with US and intensified attacks on Afghan districts and cities.
If the group still believes that wants peace in Afghanistan, then has to outline its roadmap and peace plan transparently so that ambiguity and confusion is removed. It should also point out its ideology to the public and shall no more act in a vague and ambiguous way. Talk-talk and fight-fight strategy, besides creating confusion, is unlikely to mitigate the turmoil.