KABUL – Over the weekend, Afghan families were forced to abandon their homes after Taliban airstrikes hit neighbourhoods. Lifeless bodies on the streets indicate the beginning of a new bloody chapter for the war-torn country.
The Taliban have been launching attacks across large areas of the country, since May, after the United States military began its final withdrawal following nearly 20 years of operations in Afghanistan.
Journalist, researcher and television commentator on security & foreign policy, Ahmed Quraishi, discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Salaamedia’s Julie Allie on News & Views.
“The Americans withdrawing from Afghanistan are indirectly also punishing the Afghan government because this is the government that was supposed to reach a deal with the Taliban and unify the country [which] include[s] the Taliban who are part of the Afghan society,” said Quraishi.
He added that the United States withdrew from the country because they did not want the Afghans to keep relying on Washington to survive, but rather want to encourage the Afghan government to make peace with the Taliban.
The Taliban so far have managed to gain power in rural areas, often without a fight, but have now turned their attention towards capturing provincial capitals. However, the country’s military has been digging in to defend provincial capitals across Afghanistan, including Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat.
“History tells us that the Taliban do have a very good presence on the ground and even though they were controlling Afghanistan 20 years ago, they were unable to control all of Afghanistan, but they surely had the upper hand,” said Quraishi.
Even though Afghanistan has never unified under the leadership over any ruling power, Quraishi said this will be a huge challenge to see if the Taliban will be able to unify the country under their control.
Listen to the full discussion here: