19 Mar 2017
Writer: Mohammad Reza Gulkohi

Treat this crisis

As the snow melts, Afghanistan is bracing for a worsening of the security situation. Alarm bells are ringing in Kabul, and also at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Tadamachi Yamamoto, special representative for UN special mission in Afghanistan, warned the UN Security Council that the situation in Afghanistan was worrying.
Kamran Rastagar, writer and analyst says, "The bitter reality is that unfortunately in the season of spring and start of life … the monster of terror wakes after the winter sleep and attacks Afghan people. The bloodshed in a (military) hospital (Kabul, March 8), a place where wounded are saved, reveals the depths of our tragedy and need for a review of security and military strategies, not just the government's but also our international allies."
The extent of the crisis is "beyond the country, even beyond circles in the region", he says.
Afghanistan has options to treat the pain and crisis.
Members of Parliament have called for a review of the management of security institutions and summoned security ministers. The government meanwhile has set up an office headed by Amrullah Saleh, former head of the National Directorate of Security, as the new "government minister in security reforms affairs".
Saleh Mohammad of the parliamentary internal security commission fears the parallel power structures will feed corruption and dilute responsibility. "If Amrullah Saleh can perform well all responsibilities in reforming  the  security affairs and appointing senior security officers, the ministers of defence and interior affairs should stay at home," he says. He questions the government plan where "ministers of defence, interior affairs and directorate of national security have responsibility but don't have the authority".
In an interview with Killid he minces no words: "I think this action (creation of an office for security reforms) will cause a big tension in security sector; it is just a wand for interference and will not result in any improvement." In his opinion if Amrullah Saleh has ability in security matters, instead of setting up "a parallel post he should have been appointed minister of interior affairs or head of the Directorate of National Security".
Amrullah Saleh's return to the government of national unity has elicited approval and disapproval. Saleh has been aggressively anti-Pakistan.
Caution pays
Political analyst Abdul Ahmad Ahmadyar urges caution. "As soon as possible, the war situation must be controlled or we can expect bitter results like suicide attacks, and desertion by soldiers to the side of the enemy."
Afghanistan's crisis has roots in the region including in Pakistan. Islamabad's cooperation is a serious need for Afghanistan to prevent a bloody spring.
Wahid Muzhda, political analyst and a former Taleban official when it was in power says, " If the peace talks are not taken seriously and the efforts of regional countries are seen as grounded in enmity, the war will continue and anarchy spread. Instead of asking for weapons and military aid from other countries, we should seek help in pushing the peace process."
Recently Hanif Atmar, national security advisor, asked for military aid while on visits to Moscow and New Delhi, triggering fears of a proxy war. Kabul's seeming closeness to India has always created unease in Islamabad. Meanwhile, Russia has been accused of siding with the Taleban to get back against the US.
Last week, the Afghan government took complaints against Pakistan to the Security Council. Mahmood Saiqal, Afghan ambassador to the UN says, "Twenty terrorist groups that Pakistan supports are living safely in Pakistan and the former leaders of Pakistan including Parvez Musharraf (former president) have expressed their support …"

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