Pakistan duping world on border trench: Gen. Raziq
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The Kandahar police chief on Saturday alleged Pakistan was deceiving the international community by digging a 480-kilometre trench along the border on the pretext of preventing militant infiltration.
Gen. Abdul Raziq levelled the allegation while responding to a question from this scribe during a press conference at the Governor’s House media office in the capital of the southern province.
Raziq said the eight-foot deep and 10-foot wide trench in Balochistan province was a project for which Pakistan had received $750 million from the international community.
He opposed the trench when Pakistan first started digging it and the opposition led to a skirmish as well, but later Afghan and the Pakistani governments agreed on the trench to be located 400 metres from the border.
The police chief accused Pakistan of deceiving the international community that the trench would help prevent militants from going between the two countries.
He said the trench would not stop militants from crossing into Afghanistan because they passed through Pakistani check-posts reaching Afghan territory.
Gen. Raziq revealed joint sittings with Pakistani security officials had resumed and he attended a meeting with Balochistan security officials last week. He said the joint meeting was the third of its kind taking place in Kandahar province.
Earlier such meetings would take place at Torkham border crossing in eastern Nangarhar province, said Raziq, who added the joint meetings resumed after a halt lasting four years following President Ghani’s visit to Islamabad.
Without providing details of the meeting with Pakistani security officials, the police chief hoped such meetings with neighbours would prove beneficial in enabling them to prevent militant activities by sharing intelligence information and extending cooperation.
About the new emerging threat from the Islamic State, Gen. Raziq said no such group existed in Kandahar and it emergence was only a false propaganda.
“It is the handiwork of regional intelligence agencies, who have been fighting in this country for the last 20 years in the name of Taliban. Now they want to replace the Taliban’s white flags with black and give it the name of IS.”
He claimed the IS recruits received training and funding from the same old source and were being used for the same cause to destabilise Afghanistan.
Gen. Raziq also spoke about the security situation in Kandahar and said the situation in some other provinces was worrisome, but in Kandahar it was different.
He explained security forces had complete coordination in Kandahar and had the ability to defend the soil and the people.
About the full transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces from their foreign counterparts, the police chief said the transition had been completed in Kandahar in 2012, when Afghan forces independently provided security in much of the province.
He said Afghan forces would effectively maintain security in areas under their control.
The police boss also hinted at some security threats entering Kandahar from neighbouring Zabul and Helmand provinces and said they were planning to do away with the threats.
He said a massive security operation jointly with forces in Helmand would be launched soon in the two provinces to clear them from militants.
Gen. Raziq warned if poppy cultivation was not effectively prevented, the fighting would rage next Afghan year. He said they were seriously preventing poppy cultivation and drug smuggling this year because insurgents reimbursed their 70 percent of military costs through poppy cultivation.
“The conflict has been prolonged by narcotics. In Kandahar, we have started working in this regard right away. Even we have detained local police officers who failed to prevent poppy cultivation in Zheri and Maiwand districts.”
About targeted killings in Kandahar, Gen. Raziq said Taliban militants traditionally intensified their attacks in districts in summer, but they changed tactics in winter and opted to targeted killings and hit-and-run attacks.
He alleged militants were being trained on how to carry out targeted killings across the border, where they were given suppressed pistols.
He said victims of such attacks happened to be police and half a dozen such incidents occurred last month and two suspects had been detained.
He said they were preventing all forms of violence from insurgents with full might. Gen. Raziq also rejected reports of some Kabul-based media outlets that he and some other officials were involved in mysterious killings.
“Such statements are being made by former government officials and some Wolesi Jirga members, who previously ran private jails. With this impression, they want to spoil people’s minds. We are not going to return to 2001, we are advancing, they must stop dreaming a return to the past.”
Gen. Raziq claimed a majority of Taliban militants battling Afghan forces had joined the revolt due to actions of the individuals, who forced many Taliban fighters to join hands with Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
The police chief said security forces were serious in their actions against insurgents because it was mandatory in Islam to protect people.
Raziq said if someone’s had a complaint that he was involved in mysterious killings or jailing innocent people, the elders and youth could drag him to a court of law.
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