Power supply lines from Uzbekistan to Kabul shut down after pylons in Baghlan were sabotaged in two attacks, which the government has blamed on Taleban. As the Afghan capital plunged into darkness, there are growing fears about the future.
Hamid, 18, is waiting to migrate. “When I see the situation here, I say to myself that sudden death is waiting for me today or tomorrow. What difference is there between being killed here or on some border somewhere? At least there is hope that I may find shelter (in some country) and live without fear.”
Afghan migrants are detained in Hungary after crossing the border from Serbia. (Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters)
Security concerns have increased as the new year has progressed.
US army General John F. Campbell has warned 2016 could turn out to be as bloody as the previous year if steps for peace are not taken in the next two months. What is not being said is that authorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan have precious time to lose before the start of the spring offensive by the Taleban.
Some lawmakers have expressed worry about the lack of a “serious strategy” to combat the government’s armed opponents who seem to have created a safe route south of the Amo river in provinces like Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan. There may be new links between them and Daesh in Faryab province, says Muhiuddin Mahdi, Member of Parliament from Baghlan.
Interior Minister Nurulhaq Olomi has outlined ongoing military operations. “We started our winter campaign in Kunduz, and have operations in the south and east of Helmand to prevent the movement of the enemy at the end of winter,” he says.
Acting minister of defence Masoom Stanekzai told the media that troops were in posts and reserve units were being brought forward to repel attacks. Security on the highways has also been strengthened in the winter operations.
Meanwhile, the induction of 700 new armoured tanks from the US has started. The air force is going to get 28 stable wing airplanes; pilots and staff are undergoing technical training. The air force is promised hardware worth 2.5 billion USD this year.
Masoud Andarabi, acting intelligence chief, wants security forces and officials to work hard. “The enemy is determined to continue the war,” he says.