A terror struck the Kabul airport when America was pulling out its forces from Afghanistan, and a month later, a suicide attack occurred at a mosque in the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) left more than 180 people dead and injured.
According to my empirical experiences, baseless optimism rarely comes true, but ominous prospect invariably materializes. The most hopeful prospect for the developments in Kabul would be a scenario where the Taliban regime shows uncharacteristic commonsense to respond to the requests from international community and maintain a relatively open and flexible attitude in handling internal affairs. Such wish, however, is a pipedream. The worst scenario would be an implosion of the Taliban and the emergence of ISIS as the biggest forces. Quite ominous though, it is much more feasible compared to the first scenario.
Starting from last month, Western powers and Japan are offering hundreds of millions of dollars to Afghanistan in aide. Their intention is unclear; perhaps, they are concerned about the abysmal consequences awaiting the people of Afghanistan or they are gripped by a sense of crisis that a debacle of social safety net could topple the Taliban regime and fuel the expansion of ISIS. The conundrum of Afghan crisis begs the question as to why ISIS are so obsessed with committing atrocities? This cannot be answered with their perennial claim that they are using violence as the only means of resistance for the weak against the Western superpowers armed with cutting-edge technologies and powerful armies.
Some point to religious zealotry and fanaticism. That might be applicable to a handful few, but not every follower is so lofty minded as to sacrifice their life for faith so easily. Perhaps, their frustration over foiled dreams and desire are ignited by propaganda and manifested in the form of extremism. The latter hypothesis would be more likely to gain currency. The crisis witnessed in Afghanistan is not confined to ISIS and other extremists; it is a global phenomenon permeating the 21st century. It is time that all stakeholders tackle this issue head-on, more seriously and desperately.