Expansion of Daesh, a real threat to protract Afghan war

Sunday, 31 December 2017 03:27 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 280 times

Contrary to what is claimed by Afghan government and its western allies, the Daesh terrorist group not only hasn’t been weakened, but it is also gaining more strength, and the number of its fighters is growing day by day. While Russia estimates the number of the Islamic State (IS) terrorists operating currently in Afghanistan at 10,000, something the Afghan government rejects, the statistics provided by the United States about the terrorist group also cannot be trusted because of a huge margin. At the beginning of 2017, American troops said there were about 700 Daesh fighters in Afghanistan, but they now claim to have killed over 1600 fighters as the year wraps up today. Despite the claim of suffering heavy casualties, Daesh has been able not only to expand its activities into new territories, but also carry out more attacks in capital Kabul than the Taliban as the main militant group. 

 

One concern at the time of the emergence of Daesh in Afghanistan was that it may replace the Taliban because they no longer serve the goals the global powers are pursuing to achieve in Afghanistan; therefore, the white flag needed to be replaced with the black flag of Islamic State terrorist group to unleash more violence. Under such circumstances, peace between the government and the Taliban cannot take Afghanistan to a lasting stability, because Daesh will remain a factor for war in Afghanistan for a long time. In this case, Pakistan currently known as the supporter of militants fighting in Afghanistan won’t take the blame for the activities of Daesh, and Afghan people also won’t show willingness to call for peace talks with the group as it is considered a foreign phenomenon and terrorist outfit, with which peace is impossible. The developments over the past two years indicate exactly the same thing. Even if the Taliban are weakened, it has rather paved the way for Daesh, than the Afghan government, to gain strength. The Taliban have repeatedly claimed their fighters were bombed by American troops while fighting Daesh terrorists. Afghanistan cannot achieve peace by weakening the Taliban to allow Daesh to expand. If the Taliban are weakened as the Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami group, and Daesh continues to gain momentum as now, peace with the Taliban will be symbolic and useless as much as it was with Hekmatyar. 

 

The government should no longer deceive the people by making deceptive statements about the elimination of Daesh. Opposite to what President Ghani has claimed, Daesh is neither on the run nor has been suppressed; it has rather launched more attacks in Kabul than the Taliban have done in recent months. By hook or by crook, the government and people should join hands to prevent Daesh from becoming a long-term threat for destabilizing Afghanistan. 

 

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