GP Insights # 302, 21 March 2020
Last week, Afghanistan witnessed two attacks after the US and Taliban peace deal was signed on 29 February.
On 21 March, four personnel of the security forces were killed in a Taliban attack, near a local police station in Kapisa province. This was the first attack, in the province after the US-Taliban deal.
On 20 March, six police infiltrators attacked an Afghan army base camp near Qalat, Zabul province. Ata Jan Haq Bayan, Zabul provincial council chief, said: "The attacker had connection with the Taliban insurgents". Twenty Afghan soldiers were killed in the attack. The councillor Asdullah Kakr said that the attackers have taken all the weapons and ammunition and fled in two military vehicles from the spot. The Ministry of Defence vowed to 'avenge' the Zabul attack.
What is the background?
On 19 March, Asadullah Kalid, Afghanistan Defence Minister said country's forces would switch to "active defense posture", which will bring down the restrictions on Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and will allow them to carry operations against the Taliban.
Last month the US and Taliban signed a deal, to end the 18-year long war in Afghanistan. Four key areas were addressed in the deal out of which, the intra-Afghan dialogue was supposed to begin from 10 March. But due to the failed negotiations over a 'prisoner swap' agreement, there has been a delay in bringing both the Taliban and Afghan government to the negotiating table.
What does it mean?
First, though after the deal Taliban had decreased attacks against the US and NATO troops, the country still witnesses continuous attacks against the government.
Second, in Afghanistan, rival leaders are primarily fighting over the presidency, then disagreement over the prisoner release between the Taliban and Afghan government added to inadequate medical facilities available for people infected with COVID-19 and finally these attacks dissolve the tendency of having the intra-afghan dialogue.
Lastly, it seems that the US is only keen on withdrawing forces from the region. As the world is facing the pandemic of COVID-19, peace is yet to come.