Progress on peace front unlikely in near future: Haysom
KABUL (Pajhwok): Economic development security improvement is necessary for the Afghans to have confidence in their government, the top UN diplomat in the country has said.
The UN secretary-general’s special representativesaid in a briefing to the Security Council there had been a deliberate response from security forces to the lessons learned from the dynamics and developments of last year.
Nicholas Haysom said the battlefield in many areas of Afghanistan was in a state of flux, with gains and reversals but with neither side effecting clear dominance.
“The security forces continue to face serious challenges, including in addressing questions of morale, leadership, attrition and logistics,” said Haysom, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
In a statement from the UN mission, Haysom said he remained concerned about the impact that the high level of violence was having on the civilian population.
“There has been no let-up in Ramadan, during which period there have been some reports of disturbing brutality, including attacks on worshippers.
“I am especially concerned about the trend of targeted attacks on civilians working in the judicial sector, and on journalists,” said the envoy, who warned of possible retaliatory acts and an escalating spiral of violence.
On the economic front, Haysom noted there had been progress in revenue collection and developing thoughtful medium-term plans for reform. He praised the establishment of the High Council of Governance, Justice and Anti-Corruptionas a positive step toward demonstrating results in the everyday lives of Afghans.
Referring to the failure of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group to bring the antagonists to the table and the recent death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the envoy said such a peace process seemed unlikelyin the short term.
“We believe, however, that there are elements within the Taliban movement who are questioning whether they can win militarily, at least in the short term, and wonder whether a purely military goal is desirable,” he said.
Peace is not a luxury, but a necessity, without which Afghanistan is not sustainable, according to Haysom, expressing disappointment over lack of any concrete traction on peace efforts.
However, he remained optimistic that such a process would eventually emerge. The UNAMA chief said Afghans could meet the challenges confronting them. “It is possible for Afghanistan not only to survive in 2016, but to grow stronger as a result.”
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