Political instability in Afghanistan

Political instability in Afghanistan
Jamayat-E-Islami, one of the main political parties’ part of the Afghanistan government, has stated that it is likely to withdraw its support from the government.

Jamayat-E-Islami, one of the main political parties’ part of the Afghanistan government, has stated that it is likely to withdraw its support from the government. They have called on the President to reverse his decision to dismiss Atta Noor, one of the most powerful governors in the country.

Background

Landlocked and mountainous, Afghanistan is one of the most unstable nations in the world. Much of its economy and infrastructure are in ruins and the nation relies heavily on foreign aids. The region is home to multiple terror groups such as ISIS, Taliban, al Qaeda and Daesh. The Taliban, who imposed strict Islamic rule following a devastating civil war, was ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001 but have recently been making a comeback.

This chronic instability has forced many citizens to become refugees. The region is plagued by multiple terror attacks. In 2016, 4,561 people were killed by terrorists in Afghanistan. There were 1,340 terrorist attacks that year alone.

The number of terror attacks has continued to rise in the recent years. Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert in the field, testified to the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, & Trade of the House Foreign Affairs Committee noting that there has been a resurgence in terrorism in the country. Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. special envoy in Afghanistan noted in March 2016 that if Afghanistan merely survived 2016, the UN would consider its mission a success.  On May 31, 2017, Kabul witnessed one of the deadliest attacks the region has ever witnessed. A suicide truck bombing killed 80 and wounded hundreds. In July 2017, 31 people were killed in a Taliban-claimed suicide attack on government workers in Kabul.

US forces have been systematically targeting ISIL in Afghanistan. In April 2017, US military dropped America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb called the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ (MOAB) at an ISIS stronghold in the country. It reportedly killed 94 ISIS fighters.

Jamayat-E-Islami is a Muslim political party in Afghanistan. Former President of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani led the party from 1968 to 2011. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is the current President of Afghanistan. He is elected on 21 September 2014.

Analysis

Jamayat-E-Islami, one of the main political parties’ part of the Afghanistan government, has stated that it is likely to withdraw its support from the government. They have called on the President to reverse his decision to dismiss Atta Noor, one of the most powerful governors in the country. Noor and Ghani have often clashed in the past. The President so far has made no comments regarding Noor’s dismissal.

Noor, who is at times referred to as the “King in the North” said he would be fighting dismissal. The government has maintained that he resigned, something that has been refuted by Noor who was a leader at Jamayat-E-Islami. He said, “My dismissal has no legal or legitimate basis. For now, we are only resorting to a civil action, but if this atrocity continues, there are many other options."

Ghani currently heads a government that is heavily backed by Western nations especially the United States. Jamayat-E-Islami has vowed to pull its support in the wake of the controversy.  “If the presidential palace does not reconsider its one-sided action which is misusing the presence of the international community, Jamiat-e Islami will nullify the national unity government agreement and will employ all options to defend the legitimate rights of the people,” the party leadership said in a statement.

Assessment

Our assessment is that there has always been political instability in Afghanistan as the Western-backed government has often struggled to establish credibility with the region’s citizens. The current controversy only further heightens the uncertainty ahead of a presidential election in 2019. Noor has previously hinted that he may run for the presidency, while Ghani has not yet said whether he will run again. As the war continues without a set end date in sight, only a stable government can help usher in security and progress in the nation.   

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