Afghan Analysts Blame Government for Failing to Prevent Kabul Attacks
HERAT (Tasnim) – In the wake of fatal blasts that rocked a rally in Kabul on Saturday, nearly all Afghan analysts and commentators chide the central government for its failure to ensure security across the country, citing either the lack of will, reluctance, inability or corruption.
At least 80 people were killed and hundreds more injured after three explosions struck the large demonstration march in the Afghan capital on Saturday.
The peaceful protest was staged by Hazara people, a Shiite minority making up an estimated 9% of the Afghan population.
More than 230 people were also wounded. The attacks marked the deadliest in Kabul since 2001.
Meanwhile, Afghan analysts, political activists, ex-officials and journalists have given different accounts of the incident in interviews with the Tasnim News Agency’s reporter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat.
Retired Afghan General Atiqullah Amarkhil pinned the blame on the US for Afghanistan’s instability.
He said one should not expect the Kabul government to be able to ensure full security across the country since Afghanistan is now experiencing war conditions.
Amarkhil then lashed out at the US for lack of sincerity to usher in peace and stability to Afghanistan, saying Washington actually favors conflicts, terrorist activities, discord and instability in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Bashir Bijan, an analyst with the knowledge of political streams in Afghanistan, said neither the Kabul government nor its Western allies, the US in particular, has the will to tackle terrorism in the country.
Should the US and NATO fail to “do something positive” about ensuring security and averting terrorism in Afghanistan, the perception of West’s inactivity will be corroborated, he added.
As regards the deadly terrorist attacks in Kabul, Bijan pointed to the role of people working for the Afghan government as fifth column and of opportunists in the social structures.
In separate comments, Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, a former deputy interior minister, said the Afghan government’s inability to control the country's borders, particularly with Pakistan, has led to drawn-out wars, escalated local problems and helped terrorist groups to recruit more fighters and orchestrate new attacks.
More than a decade after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Kabul government still is unable to take an effectual approach to counter terrorism, he said.
And in a note sent to Tasnim’s office, Morteza Taqavi, a Kunduz-based social activist, held the central government accountable for one of the “tragic incidents in Afghanistan's history.”
There is no doubt that the government has failed to provide security at the rally and has even tried to boycott the media coverage of the attacks, he added.
While Afghan officials blame the Saturday blasts on suicide bombers, eyewitnesses have offered a different interpretation of the incident, saying planted bombs went off in the demonstration, throwing doubt on the central government’s ability to ensure security of peaceful protests.
People at Deh Mazang Square, where the explosions happened, say explosive devices had been planted at some places beforehand. They said an ice cream cart and a motorcycle went off in the crowd, without anybody spotting any suicide bomber at the scene.
These reports, however, differ from Afghan intelligence officials’ narration of the event. They claim the attacks were carried out by three suicide bombers dispatched from Daesh’s eastern stronghold in Achin district.
The tragic attacks were also preceded by security warnings by Afghan officials, who had held the demonstration leaders accountable for any possible incident hours before the rally.