The need to address main drivers of Afghan conflict

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 03:02 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 66 times

All news reports related to Afghan war are appalling. There are reports nearly on daily basis that make Afghans further lose hope in their future. Instead of instilling hope in people about the gradual settlement of the conflict, incidents that dash the existing hopes occur. With repeated failures of the military option to resolve Afghan conflict over the last decade and a half,  and US President Donald Trump’s rise to power, it was expected  that the new US administration critical of former US governments would give priority to the political settlement of the Afghan conflict. But unfortunately, the main players in control of the American foreign policy, who think their interests could only be protected in the continuation of the Afghan war, hijacked Trump’s will, thereby once again ignoring the peaceful solution of the Afghan war in the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, which has further complicated the Afghan reconciliation process.

 

 

The National Unity Government (NUG) which welcomes American actions without any analysis and reservation was very exhilarated by Trump’s warnings to Pakistan that even upheld and praised a damaging policy which brought nothing, but war, destruction and killings to the war-stricken country. 

Developments following the announcement of the new US strategy proved that Washington’s warnings to Islamabad were not intended to bring stability to Afghanistan.  The statements of US Defense Secretary about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) showed that the motive behind America’s tough line on Pakistan is not the settlement of Afghan conflict, but the closeness of Pakistan with other regional powers. 

Currently, the National Unity Government has failed on both fronts. Neither can it contain the war, nor makes genuine efforts for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Even it doesn’t dare to speak out against the major driver of the conflict, which is the ambiguity of American goals in Afghanistan. Afghan people are paying a heavy price for this continued uncertainty. Based on a shocking report, 2,500 Afghans have suffered casualties in incidents of violence only in October. These are only the victims on whom the media has reported; the actual figure may be far higher because on the one side there are attempts to hide the actual casualties of Afghan forces, but on the other side it is impossible for the media to access areas because of security reasons, where the fighting is ongoing. 

This record level high toll is intolerable, especially for a nation who have been the victims of wars fought for the interests of outsiders for about half a century. The time has come for the Afghan government and people work together to address the main drivers of the ongoing war, and put an end to it once and for all.