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The Afghanistan Tinderbox

The Afghanistan Tinderbox

Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is facing 5the worst political and security situation since the instalment of new regime after the ouster of Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Currently, the political tensions between the Ashraf Ghani administration and Atta Mohammad Noor over the governorship of the Balkh Province and the recent security incidents in the country have increased concerns on security and political stability in Afghanistan.

The issue of the governorship in Balkh has intensified concerns on the security and stability of Afghanistan. Recently, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan and then the White House made comments on this issue which reveals how critical this has become. Moreover, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan has also offered to play a role in bridging the gap between the two contending parties.

These tensions have spurred at a time when the security situation in this war-torn country has deteriorated to new lows. The emerging situation has also increased the concerns among the Afghan public. In the second half of January 2018, Kabul, the capital of the country, witnessed several attacks and explosions, which shook the Afghan security apparatus and left hundreds killed and numerous injured.

In this backdrop, it is an appropriate time to find answers to four critical questions, which are:

1. Which direction is the security and political situation in Afghanistan headed to?
2. What are the factors behind the current situation?
3. Will the National Unity Government (NUG) be able to control the situation?
4. Is it possible to hold the upcoming parliamentary elections as per the schedule?

In the past one and a half decade in general, and in the past three years of the Ashraf Ghani administration in particular, Afghanistan’s political scenario remained tenuous and full of disagreements and discords; however, despite their resolution, the divergences have taken a new turn and now it seems that the government is increasingly becoming weak against some powers operating within the system.

When the Arg, Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace, appointed a new governor for Balkh province, the ousted Atta Mohammad Noor refused to accept the government’s decision. It was for the first time in the history of NUG that a local official dared challenge the central government. Atta Mohammad Noor organized several gatherings of his supporters and threatened the central government. But, President Ghani is mysteriously silent about the criticism and challenges posed by the deposed governor.

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About Mairajul Hamid Nasri

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The writer is a freelance writer and columnist. He can be reached at:

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