Meddling deepens Sangin crisis: official
LASHKARGAH (PAN): The Sangin district chief says unrest in the town has prolonged due to “interference from irresponsible government officials and politicians.”
During an exclusive interview, Habibullah Shalani told Pajhwok Afghan News the meddling enabled the Taliban to put up stiff resistance against security forces during a major push to drive them away.
Police chiefs were frequently replaced and blue-eyed individuals appointed on key posts that negatively impacted the administrative affairs, he said.
He said the Taliban would not have been able to put up resistance for months if security officials had coordination.
About the security operation, the district chief said the Taliban wanted to capture roads and smuggle drugs from Sangin to Iran and Pakistan.
But their designs were frustrated under a special plan, said the official, who acknowledged Taliban continued to collect electricity bills from consumers in many parts.
Shalani said some Wolesi Jirga members were trying to promote their own interests in the troubled district as part of their campaign for the April 5 elections.
He said the government was friendly to the Alokozai tribe, but it had totally ignored the Ishaqzai tribe when it came to development projects.
He said efforts were underway to resolve rifts among tribes and prevent outside interference into the district affairs.
He said residents were cooperative with the government in all affairs, but their problems had been ignored.
Sangin is linked with Lashkargah, the provincial capital, and Registan district through roads. It lies in northern parts of Helmand near the border with Kandahar.
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