End attacks on Afghan civilians

End attacks on Afghan civilians
Afghan security forces patrol in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, Afghanistan

There were more than 11,000 civilian casualties last year, which include 3,545 deaths.



The news from Afghanistan is quite disturbing. The presence of foreign forces for more than a decade has had little impact in pushing it towards stability. Similarly, the raising of Afghan Army and beefing up of intelligence agencies haven't had any long-term fruitful results for the war-torn country. Host of militias are on the loose and the Taleban are back to business. The United Nations, in its annual report for the year 2015, says that the number of civilian casualties was the highest since 2009, with children paying a particularly heavy price. There were more than 11,000 civilian casualties last year, which include 3,545 deaths. This is appalling and undermines the spirit of the international community, which wants to see peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.
The most unfortunate aspect is that civilians have been the prime targets, whether it is intentional attacks from the militant groups or going berserk of the coalition forces. The UN report also noted a 28 per cent year-on-year surge in the number of casualties caused by pro-government forces, including the Afghan army and international troops. No heed has been paid to calls to take concrete action to protect civilians and put a stop to the killing and maiming. Coupled with this are the green-on-blue suicidal attacks that the Taleban and Al Qaeda have carried out against the United States and ISAF forces, which have also led to massive civilian casualties. The coalition forces cannot just get away by calling it collateral damage. Such a heavy toll of civilian lives even after the coalition forces had given up their combat role is perplexing.
The million-dollar question to ponder is what has went wrong and where? Afghanistan lacks a durable political solution. Regional elements are making use of their proxies for attaining vested objectives. Kabul's endeavour to broker reconciliation with the opposition elements has met with repeated failures. The interlocutors are clueless and wandering in the dark in their attempt to redesign the security paradigm of the landlocked country. This disconnect has to end. The sooner a consensus is reached, the better.
 


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