The Taliban threat has reared its ugly head again in Afghanistan. Taliban killed more than 100 Afghan troops in an army base attack; days after US dropped MOAB – and it seems as if the American fight in Afghanistan just will not deescalate, and neither is there any scope for an actual mainstreaming of the Taliban who still hold a lot of influence and power in the country. The raid, the deadliest-ever by the Taliban on a military base, underscores their growing strength more than 15 years after they were ousted from power.

The country observed a national day of mourning Sunday after the Taliban attack, prompting angry calls for ministers and army chiefs to resign. There is a widely held perception that the government’s response was absolutely inadequate, after there was no clear information on the actual number of deaths by the state leasing to mass confusion. One would think that government would stay on top of an incident of this magnitude – and at the very least dedicate a media-liaison team to field phone calls and questions and disseminate correct and updated information to the press.

This is all symptomatic of a government that has been relying on outside powers to protect it, like Afghanistan and India. While the claim is constantly made by PM Ghani’s government that Pakistan is encouraging cross-border terrorism, the links between the Pakistan and Afghan Taliban may be tenuous, and the link has nothing to do with Pakistan.

IS terrorists are suspected to have carried out about 20 attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly against soft sectarian targets like Shia mosques and hospitals. However, it is the resurgent Taliban that is posing an existential threat to the Afghan government, after it made huge inroads last year in Kunduz province. This threat may not have decreased after the American bombing. In the aftermath, former president Hamid Karzai questioned Afghan president Ashraf Ghani permitting Americans to use a device “equal to an atom bomb” in the country, and the Afghan Taliban probably agree and find in this new impetus to bring down the state.

The Afghan government needs to make fast moves to make itself seem credible again. Blaming Pakistan as a strategy to distract blame is losing its mileage.