By Mihika Kapoor
On the 5th of September, a suicide bombing took place near the US embassy in Kabul. The Taliban stepped forward claiming the car bombing to be theirs. Their attack wounded 42 people, and killed 10, along with Romanian and US soldiers. A week before this unexpected bombing, a peace deal between the US- Taliban was getting brokered.
Reports of the peace meetings were said to be going well by the interior ministry’s spokesman; Nasrat Rahimi, which made this impromptu bombing all the more surprising. The bombing took place within the fortified and Kabul’s so-called ‘protected’ ground called the ‘Green Zone.’ The green zone is a walled-off compound that is home to important buildings such as the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence service, and the US embassy. The penetration fo this high-security area paired with the Taliban’s second attack on the military base continues to raise several alarms for the Afghani government. The Taliban’s second attack on the military base killed 4 civilians. the loss of 14 lives in one day caused the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, to release a statement saying, “Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless.”
Before the attacks the USA had sent its negotiator for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, to create draw up a framework that would push the Taliban out of Afghanistan in 135 days. The proposed deal featured a clause that stated the US would withdraw 5,400 troops from Afghanistan within 20 weeks if the Taliban cooperated. The USA had been meticulously planning this peace accord for talks between the US and Taliban representatives held in Doha. Sadly due to the bombings, President Trump issued a statement saying that the peace talks between the Taliban and the USA are ‘dead.’
On Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of 9/11, President Donald Trump vowed to hit the Taliban “harder than ever.” 18 years ago the USA had pledged to make Afghanistan a safe place for women, and now due to this insult to the patriotic American spirit, Trump abruptly called off 18 years of work. However, the efforts taken by trump and his previous presidents don’t indicate any specific action taken to fight to make ‘Afghanistan a safe place for women.’ Instead, actions were taken to irradicate terrorism as a whole, which perhaps does serve the same purpose but it does so rather indirectly. The Afghani women believed in the USA’s cause and hoped that they would be heard. But all their hope and faith was rendered meaningless when Trump called off the peace brokering initiatives with the Taliban. In the same address, he further explained why the peace talks are ‘dead’ in the following statement, “We had peace talks scheduled. A few days ago. I called them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people.” During this address of his at the Pentagon, Trump referred to the assault he ordered in retaliation for the car bombing near the US embassy and declared he would continue with these assaults. Trump still has 14000 troops in Afghanistan and doesn’t intend to return his troops home anytime soon.
Peace seems to be a ruled out option currently and Trump hints that it won’t be a considered option for a while. Violence once again prevails in Afghanistan, and the future of women in Afghanistan is uncertain. Without the USA’s so-called ‘backing’ the women’s cries to be heard increase to a deafening volume according to several Buzzfeed articles covering these issues. the fate of Afghanistan and it’s innocent civilians continues to hang in a perpetual balance between safe and unsafe.