Responsibility for Kabul University attack remains mysterious


The Afghan government, the Taliban and the Daesh militant group are at odds on who was behind the deadly Kabul University attack that drew ringing denunciation from different quarters. On Monday, three armed insurgents attacked the Kabul University, killing 22 students and lecturers and wounding 27 others.

Soon after the attack, the so-called Islamic State-Khurasan claimed credit through its Amaq News Agency while the Taliban were quick to deny involvement. Meanwhile, the government blamed the Taliban for the barbaric massacre of university students. First Vice President Amrullah Saleh had said that all the evidence pointed to the Taliban. In his recent Tweet, he said “I went through the evidence & investigation report related to Kabul Uni massacre this morning at my 0630 regular meeting. IT IS THE WORK OF THE TALIBAN. Period.” He promised damning proof soon, asking why Pakistani media was defensive and nervous. Taliban being incriminated can be supported by the group’s track record in such attacks – prominent is the one in 2016 when they were held responsible for storming the American University of Afghanistan, killing at least 16 people.

In the meantime, in a video on social media attributed to IS-K, the group has denied having to do anything with the Kabul attack, saying recent attacks blamed on them were being conducted by Pakistan and the Taliban.

The attack is yet another assault on education in just over a week, coming shortly after an attack (which was claimed by IS-K too) on a private education center on Oct. 24 in a mainly Shiite Kabul neighborhood, killing at least 30 people, most of them teenage students.

On the other hand, the Taliban condemned the attack on Kabul University, saying it was the handiwork of the enemies of peace and education. Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban’s political office, wrote on Twitter that such attacks could be the work of people who he said were undermining the ongoing peace process in order to stay in power. Anas is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the notorious Haqqani network. Earlier this year, he was swapped for American university professors kidnapped by the group. The Ministry of Interior has referred 13 policemen to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on the charges of negligence in the Kabul attack.

Amid the fog of intensified war, it’s a first that attacks are going unclaimed. The government has consistently stressed that attacks happening are all waged by the Taliban but they deny responsibility because they are also engaged in negotiations with the government in Doha. Nevertheless, the question here is why would anyone attack an educational institution that is neither a military target nor does it pose a threat? The answer is crystal clear that the enemies of Afghanistan want to paralyze the educational system, detach people from the government, create mistrust among people, as well as discourage the young generation to attend educational institutes.

These spoilers of peace are hell-bent on creating terror to sabotage the peace process. It’s certain that the peace process will be impacted and those who have remained the arch enemies of Afghanistan for the past 40 years will benefit. The game of proxy war being played in Afghanistan is detrimental to the whole notion of peace as people’s trust is slowly waning because peace talks have borne no fruit yet. It’s high time that the perpetrators of such massacres are revealed and the mysteriousness brought to an end. Otherwise, peace talks don’t mean anything to Afghans; it’s just a veiled tactic being followed for other purposes.