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News Analysis: Election impasse avails Taliban in Afghanistan

English.news.cn   2014-08-04 23:24:50

by Haleem

KABUL, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The lingering Afghan presidential election process and emerging stalemate over vote counting and its transparency have availed Taliban militants to enlarge their activities, Afghan political observers believe.

Since emerging stalemate in the presidential runoff election held on June 14, the Taliban militants have launched two major offensives with the involvement of some 1,000 fighters in the southern Helmand and eastern Nangarhar provinces which had claimed hundreds of lives.

The Taliban militants in their latest offensive launched massive attack against government facilities in Hesarak district, Nangarhar province last Tuesday and ended on Saturday after repulsing militants by security forces.

Nangarhar police chief Fazal Ahmad Shirzad accused Pakistan of supporting Taliban militants in the offensive, saying hundreds of Pakistani military personnel were fighting alongside Taliban fighters in Hesarak district.

"Prolonged vote counting and uncertainty about the election results have availed Taliban to launch massive offensive in Hesarak district," a former army General Atiqullah Omarkhil said in talks with local media.

He also warned that Taliban presence in Hesarak could destabilize the neighboring Khogyani and Sarobi districts and eventually the Logar province and the capital Kabul city.

Afghanistan's National Security Council (NSC) in a meeting presided over by President Hamid Karzai on Sunday slammed Pakistan over what it termed "growing presence of Pakistani military within Taliban ranks" and said, "the government and people of Afghanistan will not leave these attacks unresponsive in future."

"The National Security Council meeting also discussed the recent attack on Hesarak district in Nangarhar province, planned by the Pakistani advisers and conducted by around 1,000 terrorists, " a statement released by Afghan Presidential Palace here said.

"The enemy suffered heavy losses including 134 of its terrorists killed. The National Security Council praised the cooperation by the district sub-governor and the local people in Hesarak in supporting Afghan security forces to repel the terrorist attack."

"Election impasse, the political instability and strained relations between Afghanistan and NATO nowadays, have helped Taliban and Pakistan to benefit the situation," Kabul University professor Nasrullah Stanikzai told local media.

"Pakistani army operations in North Waziristan, closure of Medresseh or religious schools in Pakistan and lack of air power support to Afghan forces are the factors encouraging Taliban in war," deputy to Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh told Tolo television recently.

He also said the NATO-led forces don't cooperate as they did in the past years.

President Hamid Karzai who almost a year ago instructed Afghan security forces not to seek air power support from the NATO-led troops, according to media reports just couple of days ago, instructed Afghan forces not to use heavy weapons during operations in villages.

Earlier in June, more than 800 Taliban militants launched offensives in several districts of the southern Helmand province during which more than 300 people, mostly civilians, had been killed and injured.

Taliban militants who usually fights in smaller groups, according to observers, would launch more massive offensives and even front wars in the future like they launched in Helmand and Hesarak recently if the status continues.

Editor: yan
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