Taliban ask Nangarhar residents for hides
JALALABAD (PAN): The Taliban have been asking residents in various districts of eastern Nangarhar province to donate hides of sacrificial animals to them on the occasion of religious festival Eidul Adha.
According to residents, the insurgents have warned people during announcements in mosques against selling the hides instead of giving to them.
A resident of Char Deh locality in Batikot district, Naveed Ahmad, said members of the Taliban announced at the main mosque on Wednesday afternoon that all residents should surrender animal skins to the movement.
A Hajyan area resident, Mohammad Faqir, said the Taliban through a leaflet had asked residents to donate them the hides. “We have to give the hides to them in order to avoid problems,” he said.
A Chaparhar district dweller, Haji Musafir, said though the Taliban had not yet openly sought hides from residents, yet they were spreading rumours in this regard.
“It is possible the Taliban will make announcements in mosques as they did last year,” he said, adding last year, the Taliban would say they wanted to buy bullets and guns with the help of hides.
Musafir said residents of Nazyan district would also offer the Taliban animal skins because the government had a fragile writ there.
A Haska Mena district resident, Qari Matin, said the Taliban had distributed night letters in the area, seeking hides to buy guns and bullets to use them against government forces.
“Our fears give the Taliban strength. We afraid of them and if disobeyed their orders, they would not let us to live for a day.”
Matin said there were two separate Taliban groups operating in the district and both were making the same demand.
Political expert Rashid Khan Malakzai said such forced donations empowered the armed opposition and if the provincial government did not take urgent action, the Taliban would intensify their attacks after Eidul Adha.
On the other hand, acting governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said the provincial administration had not yet formally received any complaint regarding Taliban’s attempts at collecting hides.
He said a security meeting had been called for tomorrow (Friday) and the issue would be discussed at the meeting. He said no one could forcibly collect hides, asking people to report to security officials if they observed such activities in their areas.
Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied they used force to collect hides or usher and zakat. He said if someone willingly donated hides and other charities to the Taliban, it was good, but they would never force people into giving them donations.
He said those threatening people for hides were not members of the movement and if the Taliban caught such elements, they would be punished.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.