Intercontinental Hotel attack: Questions that need clear answers

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 03:34 Written by  Read 208 times

Images released in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Intercontinental Hotel in capital Kabul clearly show the assailants had smuggled enough weapons and ammunition into the hotel. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers also had petrol or some kind of inflammable substance to set fire to the hotel, and that was why a large part of it has been burnt. One of the eyewitnesses even claimed Afghan forces had not entered the building till 4:30am, almost eight hours after the onslaught began at around 8:30 Saturday evening. Though it is a claim, there is a need to seriously investigate the nature, casualties and timing of the raid. 


The attack on the hotel comes only three weeks after a private security company, according to the Ministry of Interior, had assumed responsibility for its security. Why the security of a very high-profile place to which the dignity of Afghanistan is linked should be handed over to a private security firm without rigorous scrutiny, though the former governor of Pashtany Bank, a shareholder of the Intercontinental Hotel, claims he was against the move? Then who wanted the private security company to assume responsibility for the security of the hotel, and what were his reasons? Why has preference been given to a private security company over Afghan forces? What measures had the private security company taken at the time of the attack? To what extent the handover of security to the private company had been assessed? How had the attackers penetrated the hotel? Why did the attack last so long? How had plenty of weapons and ammunition been taken inside an important, well-protected building such as the Intercontinental Hotel? Why did security forces fail to prevent and control the attack in spite of having prior intelligence? 

Above and many others are the questions about the assault that need convincing answers. The government cannot fool Afghan people anymore either by pinning the blame for the attacks on militants or making flimsy excuses. The heads of security institutions are well aware of the complexity of the Afghan war, thus if they are unable to realize and adeptly deal with it, it is a great injustice to endanger the lives of the poor Afghan people only for the sake of the benefits they receive from the government and/or the name that they are government officials. The security leaders shouldn’t try to conceal their failures behind their admiration of Afghan security forces. The people of Afghanistan know the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are their only hope for the survival of the state, but their corrupt leadership has jeopardized the lives and property of not only them, but also ordinary citizens. The Intercontinental Hotel attack should be a trigger for substantial reform in leadership of security institutions. As long as incompetent individuals and those committed to their personal and partisan interests lead the security institutions, Afghan people will continue to fall prey to similar major disasters.


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