Insecurity grips some remote Paktia towns
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Provincial council members and civil society activists say insecurity has increased in some districts of southeastern Paktia province owing to lack of coordination among security departments.
They say Afghan National Army (ANA) troops have no coordination with tribal elders, provincial departments and other entities in remote parts, where, as a result, the security situation is worsening with each passing day.
These views were expressed by provincial council members and civil society activists at a joint press conference in Gardez, the provincial capital, on Thursday.
The council’s secretary, Mohammad Rahman Qaderi, said they recently toured some border districts and held talks with local officials and tribal elders.
He said people in the remote districts were not happy with the ANA 203 Thunder Military Corps leadership, who they accused of biased treatment.
He said the area people had urged President Ashraf Ghani to transfer Maj. Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali from the zone and post him elsewhere.
Another PC member, Dr. Al-amir Zazi, said ANA troops were reluctant to take action against insurgents in remote parts of Paktia and only protected their bases and posts.
Civil society activist, Syed Jamal Asifkhel, held similar views. He accused Yaftali and other ANA officials of mistreating local residents and forcing them to join the rebels.
He said Paktia served as centre of the southeastern zone, where thousands of ANA troops were stationed and dispatched to other parts when needed.
Pajhwok tried to seek comments from the ANA commander, but it was told he was in southern Ghazni province as part of a military operation.
But the corps deputy spokesman, Col. Fazl Khuda, rejected the claims of the provincial council members, saying the issue of no coordination had never occurred.
He said the views expressed by the public representatives were their personal. “We send troops to all districts when needed, we have established posts and our troops patrol the highway. The army and police are not biased toward anyone.”
The recent uptick in insecurity in Paktia has worried residents.
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