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Kunduz attack may jeopardize peace process

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Kunduz attack may jeopardize peace process

Agha Masood

In an uncalled for act, the US and Afghan forces attacked a madrassa at Kunduz, the stronghold of Taliban two days ago, and killed as many as 150 students of the seminary mercilessly. Those killed also included the families of the students who had come to see the Quran graduation ceremony. To impendent observers, it’s the worst attack by the Afghan and US forces on religious seminary. The Kundus attacks also reminds of similar attack on hospital in the past. Yesm to leave their homeland two years ago the ANA and US forces had attacked a hospital in which 42 civilians and various doctors were killed and was criticized a lot. Like that past hospital attack, the regional powers have condemned this latest attack as well and have asked the UN for impartial inquiry.

The latest report is that the UN has started investigation into the Kunduz attack. Meanwhile, the spokesman for ANA said that the US had attacked the Madrassa thinking it was the gathering of Afghan Taliban who were planning for the future attack on US and NATO forces.

It is also said that the intelligence information given to ANA and US forces about the KUNDUZ religious seminary was wrong, it had nothing to do with the future planning to conduct attack on ANA and NATO forces.

It is also said that gun-ship helicopters were provided by India who is secretly helping Afghan army to flash out the Afghan Taliban. The Indian Consulates are the centres of fake information about Afghan Taliban Movement and the attack on madrassa in Kunduz was the result of wrong information supplied by the Afghan intelligence and the Indian sources. The Afghan Taliban are now determined not to sit with Afghan Government to negotiate peace dialogue as the attack at madrassa has exposed the dual standards of US and Ashraf Ghani Government policy who want to gain time by offering negotiations and on the other hand killing innocent civilians, an act not acceptable to Taliban.

Meanwhile, some strategic analysts have argued that this air raid is just like a war crime that violates the Geneva Conventions.

Disproportionate use of force and targeting of civilians is strictly prohibited. Arguing that the Taliban and the Islamic State are even less concerned about inflicting civilian casualties – which is true – is no justification for the Afghan government doing the same. Actually the US does not want peace in Afghanistan or leave as per the demand of Afghan Taliban, but wants to win the war by using stick and other brutal means to suppress the Afghan Taliban movement and force them lay down the arms and join the peace efforts as offered by the Afghan Government.

But to my mind the killing of innocent students at a religious seminary has jeopardized the peace offer and as per newspaper reports the Afghan Taliban will launch series of attacks to avenge the killing. It definitely makes it more difficult to reach a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

To be very specific, Pakistan was the first country to support the peaceful dialogue with Afghan Government and similar views were expressed by our foreign minister at Tashkent but there are some hidden forces within Afghanistan including the Indians who do not want peace prevail in Afghanistan and the US forces leave the Afghan soil.

Therefore, all efforts by Pakistan and other regional forces including China for the peaceful settlement of Afghan issue will not bear fruit until and unless the ANA and NATO troops stop bombing the civilians so brutally. This is the hard fact the US must acknowledge and review her policies about Afghanistan problem for the lasting peace in the region.