In view of the proposed withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan by September 11, the Afghan Taliban has ramped up recruitment of minor children for using them both as human shields as well as suicide bombers to wrest control of the areas administered by the Government.
The Taliban is advancing across the provinces to gain control of areas under Government control there and as many as 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured during the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday.
An international news agency on Tuesday reported that the Taliban-led onslaught against the Afghan Government raged in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.
For the ongoing surge in attacks, the Afghan Taliban has undertaken a massive recruitment drive for recruiting minor children for planting them as both suicide bombers and human shields. Suicide bombings and ramming explosives-laden vehicles into targets are the preferred mode of attacks by Taliban to target the posts of the security forces.
On Thursday, six Afghan troops were killed and 10 others injured in a car bomb attack close to a military base in Baghlan.
During the last three months, the Taliban has recruited over 1,000 minor children during the ongoing spring offensive undertaken by the militia beginning in April, and likely to continue till July, sources said.
The child recruits give the Taliban double safety as they can reach closer to the targets in an unsuspecting manner and can be used as a human shield to demoralize the Afghan government forces.
According to intelligence estimates, the Taliban is expected to further add minor recruits to its fold. The Taliban is estimated to capture large areas of the provinces under the control of the Afghan government before the exit of the foreign forces from the ground.
The Taliban is known to undertake major offensives as part of its spring operations to demoralize the Afghan forces as well as the governments or foreign forces backing the official regime there.
Taliban has been on record repeatedly asserting that the US or those backing it will not be tolerated on Afghan soil. In recent years, India is increasingly being perceived as a major partner of the US, sources said, adding the militia could target infrastructure developed there by New Delhi as part of the reconstruction efforts.
Pakistan is back to its double game of directing the Taliban against Indian interests so as to check the terror group from targeting Chinese interests in the Afghan-Pakistan region as well as in Xinxiang, they said.
In case the Taliban targets the Chinese interests, Beijing will pressure Pakistan to control the situation. Pakistan’s influence over the Taliban has also waned as compared to the nineties. However, Islamabad is still in a position to manipulate and divert the Taliban which is not willing to be dictated by the Pakistanis.
Pakistan can claim its hand for destruction of assets developed by India and keep Taliban at bay from Chinese interests in Balochistan and Xinxiang to seek more concessions from China.