Afghanistan’s displeasure over US ‘SIGAR’ report suggesting rise in Taliban

Kabul: In spite of spending over 100 billion dollars in the last 15 years on the Afghanistan war, the US military, NATO and the Afghan army have not as yet attained success in  reducing the influence of Taliban, claims a recently published US report. The report also claims that in the year 2016, Taliban’s influence has increased significantly in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan has expressed its displeasure over the information provided in the report on Taliban’s influence, it has suggested that its inference was incorrect. However, it appears that the Afghan government is in a fix as the next US Secretary of Defence too has ratified Taliban’s growing influence.

The ‘Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’ (SIGAR) report was published in the last week. The report had warned that the Afghan government had lost control over a significantly large area to Taliban in the year 2016. The report also states that the terrorist organisation Taliban has gained success in extending its reach. The ‘SIGAR’ report also states that around 36% of Afghanistan was under Taliban’s control.

SIGARThe Afghan army and other security agencies have not as yet been able to establish requisite control over the country. The Afghanistan army in many instances had to lose possession of certain areas to Taliban. In 2015, more than 70% of the country was under the control of the Afghan government. However, now it has been reduced to only 63%. These were few of the statements made in the US report. The US military claims that out of the 407 districts in the country, Taliban has control over more than 100. However, the Afghanistan government has refuted these claims.

The Afghanistan government has clarified that Taliban occupies only 33 districts while the Afghan Government has control over more than two-thirds of the country. The Spokesperson for the Afghan Defence Ministry has claimed that the figures mentioned in the US report have not remained constant and that they are have gained control over many locations. The government has informed that the Afghan government along with the local security forces have gunned down more than 18 thousand terrorists.

But ‘SIGAR’ has expressed its incertitude over the claims made by the Afghan government and discredited it by stating that the Afghan army and other agencies are incompetent still. The report  expresses displeasure by saying that the US Government has provided an aid of about 64 billion dollars on rebuilding the Afghanistan army and other security agencies in the past 15 years; but still Taliban’s influence is only increasing. The next Secretary of Defence of the US, General James Mattis has also ascertained the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan in a hearing of the US Congress.

Meanwhile, the political equations in the ongoing Afghanistan war appear to be changing since the past few months. Countries like China, Russia and Iran are seen to be taking the lead in Afghanistan. As new political equations evolve, the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah paid a visit to Iran as part of the same strategy. During this visit, the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani made an appeal and assured his country’s  full support to Afghanistan and the Afghan government.

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