Pakistani Taliban out to impede Faryab projects
MAIMANA (PAN): Pakistani militants are providing funds to their Afghan counterparts to hamper construction work on two key projects in northern Faryab province, an official said on Wednesday.
A six-member group of Pakistani Taliban arrived in Ghormach district on Tuesday, they distributed money to local rebels and registered their weapons, Governor Mohammadullah Batash told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The move was aimed at creating hurdles to the construction of a ring road in Qaisar district, the governor alleged, saying the project was launched on Tuesday. Areas on the outskirts of the Almar dam were recently cleared of militants.
According to local officials, more than 30,000 hectors of land would come under irrigation with the construction of Almar dam, which cost $ 54 million.
Funded by the Ministry of Energy and Water, two canals and a 10 kilometres road from district centre to the dam are scheduled to be constructed as a part of the schemes.
Meanwhile, the governor said the security situation had improved in the province. On average five security incidents took place daily in Faryab, especially in Maimana, last year, he said.
Mountainous areas of Pashtunkot district, which were retaken by security forces with the cooperation of people, were earlier ruled by the Taliban for four years, the governor added.
With the exception of some impassible areas in remote districts, the overall situation in Faryab is satisfactory, according to Batash, who said efforts were ongoing to boost security across the province.
But provincial council head, Maulvi Rahmatullah Turkistani, claimed the security situation had considerably deteriorated, raising serious concerns among the people.
He said insecurity had been on the rise in Almar, Qaisar, Ghormach, Pashtunkot and Daulatabad districts, where armed insurgents were harassing the public by blocking roads.
Turkistani alleged police were yet to initiate any action against the Taliban operating in Qaisar. The fighters were supported by foreign insurgents, in particular the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), he charged.
But Batash insisted: "There is no insecurity; let's ask the people and seek their opinion on the issue. I will step down even if 10 people say there is insecurity here."
On the other hand, Turkistani urged the authorities to give key local security positions to residents of Faryab, because they could easily deal with the current problems and had familiarity with the area.
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