KABUL (Xinhua) – Exactly 13 years on from the US-led military coalition’ invasion on the Taleban regime in Afghanistan, the Afghans are still suffering at the hands of Taleban militants and will likely suffer in the years ahead, Afghans from all walks of life including public opinion leaders believe.
On Oct 7, 2001, the US-led coalition forces launched massive air bombardments against Taleban positions in Kabul, Kandahar and other big Afghan cities, which led to the collapse of the Taleban’ s six-year brutal reign in the country.
The Taleban hierarchy had been toppled within one month. Thousands of Taleban fighters and their al-Qaeda backers had been killed, arrested, hidden among locals or escaped to Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan and thus raising the ray of hope among war-weary Afghans for a peaceful future.
But unfortunately, the reality is never that rosy.
“In fact, the Taleban attacks claim the lives of Afghans every day and even today two people were killed and five others injured in Helmand province; while four others sustained injuries in Taleban-related activities in the capital city Kabul,” Mahmoud, 19, a student told Xinhua on Saturday. “Their (Taleban) objective is to kill people irrespective of their age, gender or profession,” Mahmoud said.
From a similar viewpoint, a daily wager, Mohammad Salim in talks with Xinhua said that the Taleban militants as seen in the past will continue to kill people in future.
Salim, 27, who left his home due to the Taleban war in the Sangin district of Helmand province a month ago, said his father was killed at the hand of Taleban militants about two years ago. He said he is afraid he himself might be killed by militants in the future.
“The US-led Coalition forces’ failure to diminish Taleban militants over the past 13 years has boosted the militants’ morale to continue their militancy in future,” a political analyst Nazari Pariani observed in talks with Xinhua.
Pariani, who is also the editor in chief of the newspaper Daily Mandegar, also was of the view that the Taleban outfit terms the US-led forces withdrawal from Afghanistan by the year end as “defeat of occupying troops” and would continue to intensify their activities in future.
The US and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF) are going to end their combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, trusting the Afghan national security forces with the responsibility to ensure their own country’s future peace and stability.
Taleban militants, who had spurned Kabul’s offers for talks during former president Hamid Karzai’s term, in an online statement recently slammed the new Afghan administration – the national unity government as being a US servant and vowed to continue war until the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate, the one deposed 13 years ago by the US-led military campaign.