The deepening crisis provoked by government with no priority

Monday, 10 October 2016 04:02 Written by  Heart of asia Read 136 times

Afghanistan is currently faced with a rising tide of violence and clashes. In addition to various districts, the provincial capitals of Helmand, Kunduz, Baghlan, Farah and Uruzgan are teetering on the brink of collapse to the resurgent Taliban. Government forces are yet to purge the strategic Kunduz city of the Taliban a week after they overran the city by launching a surprise multi-pronged assault for a second time almost exactly a year after their first brief takeover of the city in fifteen years following their ouster in a US-led invasion.


The fighting has forced thousands of families to flee their homes, and the city is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis. Those still trapped at homes are caught in the middle of the battles, and face starvation. There is no electricity and water, and the price of a loaf of bread has jumped from 10 to 50 Afs.
Meanwhile, the Taliban captured four checkpoints in Helmand’s capital Lashkargah several hours after the press conference of Abdul Jabar Qahraman, the President’s special envoy to Helmand and chief operations commander, who stressed that the Taliban would not be able to “take an inch of territory in the province afterwards”. The Taliban are effectively in control of some parts of Lashkargah, and have intensified their attacks to overrun the entire city. The provincial capitals of Uruzgan, Baghlan and Farah have faced with same situation.
Despite these woes which can well be characterized as an emergency, the government has not prioritized the safety and security of its people. Instead of preventing the fall of provincial capitals, the president, as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, pays unexpected inspection visits to hospital in Kabul. While addressing the problems of hospitals is a necessity, it is not a top priority in the current critical situation. Officials other than the president can also inspect hospitals, but there is legally only one commander-in-chief in the country. In lieu of checking the attendance sheet of doctors, the president should question security officials whose negligence daily claims the lives of tens of civilians and military personnel. He should at least implement the reward and punishment system in the security apparatus. If those accused of negligence in the last year’s fall of Kunduz to the Taliban had been questioned and prosecuted, the tragedy in Kunduz would not have repeated again.
Besides the president, the Parliament also seems content to sit on its hands. The lawmakers, who call themselves representatives of the nation and the Parliament the house of the people, have no agenda to discuss despite various pressing national issues in the country. Their constituents are “lying in their blood”, yet the power-hungry parliamentarians have nothing to debate in their plenary sessions. 
Without setting priorities, the government’s actions can further deepen the ongoing crisis and the distance between the people and the government, which will certainly have grave ramifications for Afghanistan. Accordingly, it is necessary for the government to first set priorities, and then in the light of those priorities take actions that will at least impede the crisis from further intensification if they cannot rectify the situation.