The bonfire of sanity in Kabul: The Statesman

In its editorial on June 5, the paper comments on the worrying competition between Taleban, the Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan.


NEW DELHI (THE STATESMAN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The chaos in Afghanistan refuses to end.

Manchester, Kabul and Baghdad ~ three nations in three different parts of the world have suffered a triple whammy in course of a week. For innocent residents, the successive massacres in Kabul and Baghdad, two equally beleaguered capitals, have been no less devastating than the outrage at the Ariane Grande concert in Manchester.

The fundamentalist label of the perpetrators is now only a matter of detail; the bonfire of sanity has been almost uniformly horrendous.

In Kabul, where the butchery has claimed 90 lives, no group has as yet claimed responsibility, though the Taliban, the Al Qaida, and ISIS are competing for the space vacated by the Western troops and which the government of Ashraf Ghani finds increasingly difficult to administer.

The seizure of 1,500 kg of explosives ~ hidden inside a sewage tanker ~ reaffirms the calculated malevolence.

The outrage has happened in Kabul's diplomatic enclave and at stake is the credibility of the elected government. The attack has underscored the burgeoning insecurity in a fractious land, where the military contends with mounting casualties and desertions in the almost relentless struggle against insurgents.

It is a measure of the inherent insecurity that in terms of jurisdiction, more than a third of the country is beyond the writ of the government. Successive dispensations have been equally ineffectual and it is of lesser moment whether it is helmed by Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani or Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghanistan's perpetual chaos and insecurity have intensified at the start of the holy month of Ramzan.

It has been a catastrophic prologue to a sacred theme, and the strife within a religion has assumed hideous proportions.

Is the Taliban trying to cover its tracks by condemning the "attack that has no legitimate target and has killed civilians"?

The nub of the matter must be that more people in Afghanistan have perished at the hands of the Taliban than they have in Al Qaida and/or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) massacres.

The Caliphate has staged large-scale terror attacks in Kabul; equally, the Taliban's denial of involvement in Wednesday's massive blast is not necessarily reliable. The attack has underlined the country's deteriorating security following the outward march of NATO troops in 2014. Of course, there is a semblance of US military presence, but the large-scale withdrawal has been disastrous in both strategic and humanitarian terms.

Not wholly unrelated is the European Union deal to deport unlimited numbers of Afghan asylum-seekers whose claims have been refused. To that can be added the threat of aid cuts and the larger issue of migrants.

Angela Merkel has hit the bull's eye ~ "Terrorism targets all of us whether in Manchester or Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, St Petersburg or today in Kabul".

There is a sense of shock and awe across the world today.