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Daily Evacuation Brief | March 4, 2022
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LAST 24 HOURS:
A 10-year-old boy has been killed in a roadside bomb blast on Kandahar-Uruzgan Highway in the Shah Walikot district. No further information is known at this time.
The Taliban are investigating the looting of a World Food Programme truck in Uruzgan and are searching houses and vehicles in the immediate area.
A moderate earthquake was reported approximately 50 kms northeast of Kunduz. The quake registered 4.4, and no damage or casualties have been reported.
The Taliban called for public cooperation to complete the security clearing operations around the country. Afghans were urged to turn in weapons in a separate announcement.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
Pakistan is expected to fly several reconnaissance sorties along the border in reaction to the bombing in Quetta. It is possible strikes or shelling could take place along sections of the Durand Line.
Pakistan is also considering closing the border over concerns about explosives and weapons that were used in the recent bombing. They may announce action in the next 24 hours. At-risk Afghans who intend to make the journey should check on the status before departing.
THE DOOR ON THE RIGHT: PAKISTAN’S PATIENCE IS BEING TESTED
CONTEXT: The recent deadly bombing of a police vehicle in Quetta follows on the heels of high-level discussions held at the border and a recent multi-day closure of the frontier. Sources indicate Pakistani authorities believe the explosives for the bomb may have originated in Afghanistan. Sources went on to say that Pakistani government officials now automatically assume terror attacks carried out in the country are planned and resourced from within Afghanistan. The mounting death toll of Pakistani soldiers, police, and civilians may be sapping the remaining goodwill that has traditionally flowed out of the ISI, the pro-Taliban Pakistan intelligence service.
From the Afghan side, there have been a series of public statements that no attacks will be allowed from Afghan soil. However, this appears to be just political showmanship that they either cannot or will not back up. However, in private meetings between Pakistani and Afghan authorities, sources claim Taliban delegates have agreed to get the TTP and Baloch elements under control.
To date, we have no conclusive evidence of any Taliban effort to assert control over these groups. Purportedly, several religious figures have attempted to intercede and negotiate a ceasefire, but those efforts have yet to bear fruit. In political terms, the Taliban run the risk of alienating more internal factions by attempting to restrain the TTP and Baloch fighters through the use of force.
The question for Pakistan remains: how much more can they bear?
ANALYSIS: In the near term, nobody expects the TTP and Baloch attacks to stop. The Taliban do not appear to have the capacity to halt their operations, and it is not clear whether they even sincerely desire to.
Adding fuel to the fire, Pakistan’s commitment to finishing the Durand Line continues to inflame the situation. We feel the ISI has grossly overestimated its level of control over the Taliban and have significantly underestimated support for the ISI across the Pakistani government. Our analysis indicates that further incidents will greatly increase the possibility the border is closed for an extended period. More fighting between Afghanistan and Pakistan can be expected and there is the potential for an escalation of the conflict if any two of the three belligerents join forces.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 91.03 AFN (as of 04 MAR 2022)
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