Pre-poll violence in Afghanistan

Independent Election Commission has announced the schedule for polls of Wolesi Jirga and district councils in Afghanistan which will be held on October 20 and the results will be announced on November 10 and December 20 respectively. But the trend of violence in this war torn country is also on the rise to prevent the people from registering themselves as voters. At least 57 people were killed and 119 wounded in suicide attack targeting a center for distribution of national identity cards in Qila Nazar area in Dasht-e-Burchi Phus in Kabul on Sunday. This time the Afghan refugees in Pakistan may also not be able to cast their vote in general elections in Afghanistan.

The Media Center of the Islamic State or Daesh has claimed the responsibility by releasing a brief statement on the internet. On the other hand Taliban said they were not involved in the incident. It is pertinent to mention that six persons were killed and 10 more injured when explosives went off under a car outside a voter registration centre in Baghlan, s capital Pule Khumeri city. No one has claimed the responsibility. The Independent Election Commission has confirmed that polls could not be held in five districts of southern Helmand.

The entry of Daesh (ISIS) in the Afghan war theater has further complicated this conflict. The responsibility of most of terrorist attacks in the past few months has been claimed by this organization. Pakistan, China, Russia and Central Asian States are extremely concerned about the strong holds of this international terrorist organization in Tora Bora on the Pak-Afghan border and other parts of Afghanistan. Addressing a seminar on Afghanistan at UN Security Council in December, Pakistan’s permanent representative Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that dialogue is the only option for restoring peace and stability in this country. She said Afghanistan became epicenter of global terrorism because of foreign military intervention. Dr. Maleeha Lodhi warned that different terrorist outfits are getting united under the Umbrella of Daesh. This view was corroborated by Russia when it said that 1000 fighters of this terrorist organization are present in Afghanistan. Former Afghan President, Hamid Karzai blamed the United States for the induction of Daesh fighters into Afghanistan to counter Taliban.

The United States forces gave a tremendous support to the army of Iraq to wipe out Daesh there. Likewise, it supplied sophisticate weapons and military advisors to Kurd Maltia, Peshmarga to complexly rout Daesh from the Kurd areas of Syria but the US Air force is not targeting it decisively in other parts of Syria. In Afghanistan, the major thrust of President Trump south Asia policy is on defeating Afghan Talban who is the legitimate stakeholders in the political structure of Afghanistan and peace process of this country. The United States skipped out of Moscow Peace Conference in April and did not support the Tashkent Peace Conference that took place on March 26-27 and which was attended by representatives of 25 countries, the European Union and the UN. Like Iraq, Daesh can be eliminated from Afghanistan as well if the United States shows military muscle in collaboration with Afghan National Army.

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