Local police yet to receive salaries
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Local police in the northern province of Kunduz have criticized the government for failing to pay their salaries for the past three months.
They are threatening to quit.
Three months ago in the province’s Chardara district, 250 tribal militia members who had been active against anti-government forces were recruited to the local police. Not only have their salaries not been paid, they also have not received supplies.
“I have been fighting against Taliban in the district for the past six months,” said Gul Ahmad, a local police commander. “The Taliban had to flee the area and now there is good security for the people. The government has promised us good salaries and logistics supplies, but they did not give us even one afghani.”
He said Taliban are once again trying to regain control of the district, and the police are struggling day and night to maintain security, he said.
“If the government does not support us and does not pay our salaries, we will have to quit and find another way to support our families,” he said.
Until recently there were 1,500 members of tribal militias in different parts of the province. Three months ago, the Interior Ministry dissolved the militias and recruited 1,200 members as local police.
Another local police commander, Ali Ahmad, said that he was recruited to the local police with 20 of his fighters three months ago. They too were promised salaries and supplies, but Ahmad said they have received nothing from the government.
He said that if the governor did not pay their salaries, they would have to take oshar, one-tenth of the harvest, from the government.
Chandara district chief Abdul Momin Omarkhel said the 250 local policemen in the district should be equipped and their salaries paid so that local police would not victimize residents, who have complained that tribal militias took oshar from their harvests.
Militia members maintained that they did so only because the government did not pay their salaries.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is responsible for training the 1,200 local police, but the training has not yet been conducted. Provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Samiullah Qatrah said the police would be entitled to their salaries after they completed training.
Up to 6,000 afghanis in salary and 3,000 afganis in food expenses would be provided to each of the soldiers after the completion of the training course, an instructor at the police training centre, Col. Abdul Qahar, said.
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