On Wednesday morning in Kabul, unknown assailants attacked the motorcade of the first Vice-President of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh. The politician was not injured during the attempt. The terrorist attack underlines how complex is the current situation in Afghanistan due to the Talibans’ activities and the presence of jihadist fighters linked to the Islamic State and foreign actors.
According to the Afghan Interior Ministry, a powerful explosion occurred on the way of the motorcade. The attack killed at least ten people and injured 16 others. Meanwhile, Saleh’s press service confirmed the information about the attack and noted that his guards were wounded in the explosion. The Vice President recorded a video message saying that he received minor injuries to his hand and face.
The Taliban have denied any involvement in the attempt on Saleh’s life. Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and other political leaders condemned the attack. The head of the Supreme Council for national reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, and some other politicians visited Saleh.
Why does this matter?
Because recently, Saleh made several controversial statements that local observers described as anti-Pakistan. Furthermore, this terrorist attack highlights how serious the security situation in Afghanistan was after the United States signed a deal to withdraw American troops from the country (Washington signed a deal with the Taliban, but this is not the end of the war).
As H.E. Helena Malikyar noted when our organisation met her last March, Afghanistan plays a decisive role in Eurasian geopolitics because of its strategic position, which can also be considered an economic asset (Afghanistan today: security status and possible future development. Meeting with H.E. Helena Malikyar the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Italy).
Malikyar stated, “The current government is actively working on transforming Afghanistan from a backyard of regional proxy wars into the ‘crossroads of Asia’ in terms of trade. With improved road systems and extension of railroads of neighbouring states, President Ghani’s connectivity plan will transform Afghanistan into a transit hub for trade between Central, South and West Asia. So, there are real and tangible possibilities for economic development for Afghanistan, which can also bring prosperity and stability to the entire region”.
A stable and prosperous Afghanistan seems to be a dream nowadays, considering the series of terrorist attacks which have affected national security with significant repercussions on the Afghan economic stability and the local dialogue between the Taliban and the current government.
Author: Giuliano Bifolchi