Saturday 5th June 2021
Pakistan fears civil war
Taliban conquer more territories
The dismantling of the US and its allies’ military bases has not yet been completed, and the Taliban are already exploiting the emerging security vacuum. After fighting, they bring two districts under their control. Neighbor Pakistan wants to prevent a new civil war by attempting to mediate.
While international troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the militant Islamist Taliban are making further military progress. They captured two more districts in two different provinces, as several local officials and members of parliament confirmed on Friday. Accordingly, the Shenkai district in the Sabul province in the south of the country fell to the Islamists after about a week of fighting. The Taliban cut off all supply routes for the security forces before they overran the district, two provincial councilors said.
In the province of Urusgan in the south of the country, the Gisab district came under the control of the Taliban, said two provincial councils from the neighboring province of Daikundi. The fighting began on Thursday and the security forces had to flee on Friday. A member of parliament from Urusgan confirmed the case of Gisab. Initially there were no reports of victims.
There were serious clashes elsewhere as well. In the province of Gasni in the south-east of the country, the Deh Jak district was on the verge of falling to the Taliban after strong military pressure on the security forces. In the Farsi district of Herat province, at least nine police officers were killed in clashes on Friday, according to local officials.
Further attacks are expected
Since the official withdrawal of US and other NATO troops from Afghanistan on May 1, the Taliban have launched several offensives in the country. Some of the security forces have been able to fight back, while elsewhere they are under severe pressure. Observers suspect that these attacks are just the beginning of the Taliban’s annual offensive. A total of six districts have fallen to the Islamists since the beginning of May.
The withdrawal of international soldiers from Afghanistan should be completed by September 11th at the latest. The US military said this week it estimated around 30 to 44 percent of the entire process was complete.
Pakistan fears a new civil war in the neighboring country and wants to use the time until the complete withdrawal of international troops for mediation. The leadership in Islamabad will try to find a political solution to the power struggle between the Afghan government and the radical Islamic Taliban in good time, said Prime Minister Imran Khan. However, it will not be easy to get the Taliban to make concessions. Since the US announcement of a troop withdrawal until September 11th, the extremists believe that they have won the war. Should there be a new civil war in Afghanistan and a refugee crisis, Pakistan would also suffer greatly and its country could be forced to intervene.