Zabul insecurity blamed on graft, injustices
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Religious scholars and tribal elders from various districts of southern Zabul province on Tuesday blamed insecurity on administrative corruption and injustices being meted out to people by local officials.
They were talking at a gathering convened by Governor Mirza Khan Rahimi to discuss security related issues with them in Lashkargah, the provincial capital.
A resident of Musa Qala district and religious scholar, Mualvi Mukhtar Ahmad Haqqani, asked the governor to bring about reforms in government departments for the sake of improvement in the situation.
He said the government should adopt a clear stance against the insurgents, otherwise it would be impossible to maintain security.
Garamsir district social council chief Mehboob Khan said all departments, particularly justice and judicial organs, were rife with corruption.
“Police and other law enforcing agencies arrest anti-state elements, but justice organs set them free in return for bribes and this practice has a negative impact on the performance of security departments.”
Haji Haqbin, a tribal elder from Marja district, said the provincial administration was responsible for the increasing insecurity in the province. He said the insurgents had strengthened as a result of injustices meted out to people by local officials.
“If there is a strong administration and people are provided with needed services, common people will themselves play their part in strengthening security,” he believed.
Former chief of the Sangin district social council, Haji Daud, accused government officials of being defenders of insurgents. He said drug smugglers were always freed after being arrested in return for hefty bribes.
“In the Sangin conflict alone last year, 7,000 civilians, local and national police were killed, but the government did not come to their aid and only a handful of individuals benefitted from the conflict.”
Resident of Musa Qala Abdul Basir said intelligence officials should intensify their activities because vehicles loaded with ammunition daily entered northern districts of Zabul province from Iran and Pakistan, but none of these vehicles had ever been captured.
“As long as we don’t have a strong intelligence and unable to fully utilise the available resources, war alone is not a solution,” he said.
Helmand provincial council chief Mohammad Karim Atal said government officials did not consider their advices. He said they had informed the officials concerned in advance about the possible fall of Musa Qala and Nawzad districts, but nothing happened to secure the towns.
Governor Mirza Khan Rahimi acknowledged that security problems were widespread in Zabul and urged tribal elders and religious scholars to cooperate with his administration in doing away with corruption and injustices.
He said some plans aimed at improving administrative affairs had been chalked out and would be implemented soon. He also promised to convey problems expressed by the elders and scholars to the central government.
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