Bomb blast in Afghanistan


No better way to destabilise Afghanistan right now than for anti-Taliban militias like the so-called Islamic State to carry out terrorist attacks against soft targets, preferably minorities (from their point of view); and that is exactly what seems to be happening. No outfit has yet taken responsibility for the Kunduz mosque attack that targeted the Hazara Shi’a minority and killed somewhere between 50 and 100 people, but everybody is pretty convinced that this was the work of IS, which is now the most irritating thorn in the Taliban’s side as they try and bring peace to their war-torn country.
This is precisely the time when the international community’s rather harsh decision to cut off Kabul’s money supply will hurt the country the most. That is because it’s at times like these that anti-state outfits are easily able to recruit suffering people who have no better option than to join any cause in return for a bit of money. And that is also why counter insurgency experts point to target states’ inability to cater for the lower classes as one of the primary reasons for anti-state terrorism to spread. Afghanistan, that has hosted all sorts of militias and was the birthplace of al Qaeda, knows this trend only too well.
The US and UK have, after initially cutting off the Taliban completely, started hinting at limited engagement in the near future. That is very welcome news and hopefully it will quickly lead to the realisation that the best way to keep Afghanistan safe for everybody is to give it enough money to keep a lid on public discontent in the immediate term. That would be the best way to blunt the Islamic State’s recruitment drive, without which it would be toothless. Therefore, even after leaving Afghanistan after being squarely beaten by the Taliban, the US still holds the key to the country’s future. And the sooner it lifts curbs from money entering Afghanistan, the better for the whole region; even beyond.