By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog
The death toll in a bomb attack that targeted schoolgirls in Kabul on 8 May 2021 (Saturday) has risen to 85, around 147 people injured, some are in critical condition, and the fatality rate may increase with time. However, many schoolgirls are still missing and could not determine their safety or whereabouts yet. The school blast may be aimed to de-track troops withdrawal or blaming the Taliban.
There has been no official claim of responsibility yet. The Taliban has denied being behind the blasts. However, conflict is raging in Afghanistan, with Afghan security forces in daily combat with the Taliban, who have waged war to overthrow the foreign-backed Government since they were ousted from power in Kabul in 2001. The US-backed Hamid Karzai and then Ashraf Ghani to form Governments in Afghanistan without the consensus or consultation with the people of Afghanistan. Both Governments were not recognized nor gained popularity in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, they were termed US-backed puppet Governments. Neither they gained control over Afghanistan. Still, the Taliban held almost 70% of Afghanistan and emerged as a real pillar of power among the masses. That is why the US negotiated a peace deal with them directly in the Doha (Qatar) negotiations. Initially, the Afghan Government was not involved in Doha talks, but in a later stage, they were involved too.
The Afghan Government is fragile and shaky, especially after the US-Troop’s withdrawal. It seems there will be no role of the current Afghan Government in the future political structure in Afghanistan. That was why the Afghan Government was initially against troop’s withdrawal or any peace settlement in Afghanistan. Foreign troops were protecting the Afghan Government, and it was apparent that after the foreign troop’s departure, they might collapse immediately and may not find space to stay in Afghanistan. Afghan Government was a major hurdle in troop’s withdrawal and political settlement of Afghanistan peacefully.
India and Israel were exploiting the instability in Afghanistan and were conducting terrorist attacks on Pakistan from Afghan soil. There was sufficient evidence that most of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan were planned, executed from Afghanistan, and traced to Indian or Israeli origin.
Of course, a stable and peaceful Afghanistan does not suit India either Israel. They must be creating hurdles in the Afghan-Peace process and sabotaging the troop’s withdrawal.
Pakistan has assessed such reactions from both Israel and India and has warned and termed them “Spoiled-elements.”
It is believed that the Taliban is the son of the soil and the absolute owner of Afghanistan. They are more interested in peace and establishing their Government after foreign troop’s departure a stable and strong government to enable reconstruction of their motherland. Definitely, they will not be creating mischievous tricks to delay troops’ departure in either case.
It is also believed that Americans are sincerely leaving Afghanistan, and they also may not be interested in any such kind of sabotage. Nor such tricks will change their mind or disrupt their departure. It is anticipated that they will leave Afghanistan by or before 11 September 2021. The US has spent two decades, Trillions of Dollars, sacrificed the precious lives of thousands of its soldiers, and outnumbered injured, and damaged its reputation, and have decided to leave the country finally. For Americans, face-saving and safe return is a priority. They might not want to indulge in any complications at this stage. Americans might damage the Infrastructure they have built in Afghanistan or destroy its weapons and war machinery worth an estimated US Dollars of 80 Billion. But may not sabotage withdrawal at this stage.
American has other priorities and wanted to focus on new fronts. It will be in their interest to close down the existing fronts and concentrate on new challenges. In view of the above, although the CIA has a track record of blasts, sabotage, and terrorist attack, I believe, this time, the US is not behind these blasts.
It will be rather difficult to conclude who was behind the blasts, but I believe neither Taliban nor Americans.
However, the blasts were condemned worldwide. Pakistan strongly condemns the reprehensible attacks at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, which led to the loss of many precious lives and injuries. The Government and the people of Pakistan offer heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of Afghanistan and pray for the quick recovery of the injured.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly condemned the brutal terrorist attack on a girls’ school in Kabul on Saturday, which cost over 85 lives—most of them, young students, said a statement issued on Monday.
Pakistan condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations. At this moment of grief, Pakistan stands by Afghan brethren in their struggle against the scourge of terrorism. Pakistan will continue to support Afghanistan on its path to peace, progress, and prosperity.
Time and again, Pakistan has expressed its sincere efforts for a peaceful, political solution to the Afghan crisis. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is vital for Pakistan’s prosperity and development. Pakistan was the single largest victim of the Afghan problem. Pakistan sacrificed 80,000 precious lives, outnumbered injuries, with many lifetime disabilities, and an estimated economic loss worth US Dollars 250 Billion. In addition to it, social unrest, menace of intolerance, extremism, and terrorism was special gift. Drug culture and gun culture were a by-product of the Afghan war for Pakistan. Pakistan will be the first country on earth to struggle sincerely for Afghan peace and wish for a permanent solution. I want to Afghanistan, sustainable stability and prosperity forever.
Pope Francis called the attack an “inhuman act” in remarks to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack and expressed his deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and the Afghan Government and people.
On Sunday, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire through Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday observed at the end of Ramadan.
The Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Wang Yu, said the abrupt US announcement of a complete withdrawal of forces had led to a succession of attacks throughout the country. “China calls on foreign troops in Afghanistan to take into full account the security of people in the country and the region, pull out responsibly and avoid inflicting more turmoil and suffering on the Afghan people.”
The American withdrawal will create a vacuum, and a power struggle may emerge into deadly attacks but let Afghan people decide their destiny. Afghanistan is an ancient civilization, and as a country, it existed for centuries. Many invaders came to Afghanistan and conquered the land but could not sustain their occupation for a long time. Finally, Afghan have pushed all invaders to leave Afghanistan. Afghans are brave, straightforward, and hardworking.
In recent history, Afghans pushed the British out, Russians Out, and now Americans out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is termed the graveyard of big empires.
There exists a complete consensus in the region that all foreign troops should leave Afghanistan. It is the legitimate right of the people of Afghanistan to rule their motherland. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is vital for developing the whole region as Afghanistan is located on the main ancient trading route and connecting Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and Eurasia with Arabian Sea Gwadar-Pakistan to further destinations in Africa and Middle-east and Europe.
There might be instability immediately after the foreign troops’ departure due to the vacuum created, but the Taliban can fill in the gap and compensate ll deficiencies in no time.
It is appealed to the UN to ensure a smooth transition in Afghanistan. The foreign powers who destroyed Afghanistan have the moral obligation to reconstruct Afghanistan. After accepting defeat, the US should make a peace treaty for compensation in the same line as the peace treaty with Germany and Japan after their defeat in the World Wars. War crimes trial and compensations must be ensured by the UN and guaranteed by Russia and China. Germany and Japan are still paying such compensations, and the US should voluntarily follow their precedence too.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: email@example.com).