From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nothing much
Mains level : Afghanistan - latest situation and way ahead
The U.S.-Taliban talks collapsed last week. Taliban threatened to step up attacks in Afghanistan.
The security situation in Afghanistan
- It used two suicide bombers who killed at least 48 people by targeting a rally being addressed by Ashraf Ghani.
- These attacks are yet another warning of the security challenges Afghanistan faces. Particularly before the presidential polls.
- Both the 2014 presidential election and last year’s parliamentary poll were violently disturbed by the Taliban.
- This time, they asked civilians to stay away from political gatherings, making all those who participate in the political process of potential targets.
- Rising attacks against Afghan civilians make the Taliban’s claim of fighting on behalf of them hollow.
- The Taliban did not suspend its terror campaign even while holding talks with the U.S. in Qatar.
- Now that the talks have collapsed, a vengeful Taliban is unleashing itself.
- Threat from the Taliban is so grave that the President is largely addressing campaign rallies through Skype.
- The Afghan government is determined to go ahead with the election.
- Even if the elections are over without further attacks, the Taliban problem will remain.
- The fundamental problem with the U.S.-Taliban peace process was that it excluded the Kabul government at the insistence of the insurgents.
- The Taliban was not even ready to cease hostilities. A peace agreement dictated by the Taliban won’t sustain.
- A permanently unstable Afghanistan and Taliban growing in strength is not good news for Afghanistan’s neighbours.
- Regional and international players should help the new government.
- The Taliban can’t be allowed to have a free terror run.
- Afghanistan needs a comprehensive peace push in which all stakeholders, including the government, the U.S., the Taliban, and regional players will have a say.
- The U.S. should continue to back the Kabul government.
- It should put pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the Afghan Taliban, double down its counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan.
- The US should also invite regional players such as Pakistan, Iran, Russia, India, and China to take part in the diplomatic efforts.
- The Taliban should be forced to return to talks.
The U.S.-Taliban peace talks may have collapsed. But it need not be the end of the road for finding a settlement for the Afghan crisis.