Every day, we see crimes against the civilian population in Afghanistan continue, without any sign of the stakeholders to the peace process intervene in any helpful way. On Monday, the devastating attack on Kabul University, which had led to at least twenty-five deaths and 15 injured at the time of writing this, was yet another horrific tragedy that the victims and their families will not forget anytime soon. So far, no group has taken responsibility for the attack.

The recent spate of attacks coincide with the electoral exercise in the US. Non-state actors know that if President Trump manages to hold on to power, he will want a hasty retreat. On the other side, Joe Biden will also look for a way out, but perhaps a little more gradually. This is the time to put the pressure on the Afghan government and the US military apparatus for the Taliban. Whether or not this attack was of their doing is neither here nor there, but the fact remains that an increased frequency of attacks takes away from the bargaining power of the sitting government.

As it stands, none of the main parties in the negotiation process seem able—and sometimes even willing—to take the security problem seriously. A decrease in violence has been touted as a major priority for the sitting Afghan government and the US administration. But if anything, we have only seen more incidents in the past two months. This is not acceptable.

The Afghan people are suffering, regardless of the outcome of the peace process. If the Afghan government and the Taliban are truly serious about ending the decades-long conflict, then this is the place to start. The Afghan people cannot suffer any longer in this power struggle. The sooner all parties realise the better. Or else, even when the Taliban and the government find common cause, we will have more alienated individuals willing to use violence as a means to address their grievances.