The Afghanistan negotiations continue to get marred by violence at each juncture. Only a day after President Ashraf Ghani and his opposing candidate Abdullah Abdullah finally came to terms over a power-sharing agreement, a car bomb in Ghazni killed seven and injured forty, with an intelligence official among the deaths. This incident comes only days after the brutal attack at a hospital. With this recent uptick coinciding with removing the stumbling blocks in the negotiation process, one can only wonder whether the groups behind the attacks do not want the talks to come up with a solution?

The car bombing was claimed by the Taliban, but on their part, this is the strategy they have always employed – use violence as a pressure tactic to get the Afghan government and the US to make compromises where possible. As for the other incidents, there are numerous power plays being made within Afghanistan, with an expected power vacuum once the US and its allies withdraw forces. There are peacemakers such as Pakistan and China involved, and there are others, such as India, which would benefit immensely from keeping the region unstable and divided.

The fact that India uses groups in Afghanistan as proxies is no secret. The attempts to overthrow the Taliban government through the Northern Alliance, and the consistent use of militants in Afghanistan as a counterweight against us is a tried and tested tactic from the Indian side. Consistently blaming Pakistan for violence that we have nothing to do with only serves the purpose of undermining our role in the peace process – though this strategy has been a colossal failure. But in this game between states, those that ultimately lose out are the people. The human cost of the attacks must be focused upon, and the welfare of the general public must take centre stage whenever the Afghanistan question is under consideration.