Dand-i-Ghori Pact seems to be effective: locals
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): A number of residents of Dand Ghori locality in northern Baghlan province said that the agreement between local elders and the government was effective, while some local people complained that some contents of the pact yet to be implemented.
A five-member delegation from the presidential palace led by the borders and tribal affairs minister Mohammad Gulab Mangal traveled to Baghlan province to assess security situation on September 3.
After spending 10 days to evaluate security situation there, the delegation signed an agreement with local elders of Dand Ghori locality on the outskirts of Pul-I-Khumri, the provincial capital.
In line with the pact, no attacks would be carried out in the area and if someone did so, local residents would stand by security forces.
As part of the agreement, security forces would not arrest anyone without the permission of tribal elders. Facilitating displaced families to return to their areas was another part of the pact.
Most of the families returned to their homes in Dand Ghori supported the agreement as effective for local stability.
Abdul Hakim a resident of Gudan area said that they spent difficulties in Wazirabad area where they were displaced to but now feel happy they were turned back to their homes.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News, “We have suffered many problems in the Ramadan’s Eid due to fight and violence, but people in the Eid-ul-Adha felt secure and felt happy,”
Hakim said that Taliban were active in the area and had two posts in Shahr-I-Naw bazaar and Qala Khwaja areas and took tax from trucks, but they did not interfere in people’s life.
Mohammad Afzal a resident of Wardak village of Dand Ghori said, “We feel like we are born new after the agreement, we did not hear even a single fire after the agreement, people are busy on their duties and enjoy normal life,”
Abdul Qadir a resident f Gawhargan village of the locality also said that security was vital to their life and activities. He said that most of local people including him were busy on farming and sold melons worth of 100,000 Afghanis in the past few days after the pact was signed.
Qadir hoped that peace would be always maintained and the government and the Taliban would not fire rockets anymore.
The presidential palace delegation had said that 25 civilians had been killed during the clashes between Taliban militants and security forces in Dand Ghori in the past two months.
Some residents of Postak and Ghro Shakh areas of the locality said that some contents of the agreement were not yet implemented.
A resident of Postak area Abdul Qader said that elders had promised to withdraw Taliban militants they came from other areas, while the promise was not implemented yet and the rebels still move on motorcycles and police rangers they seized from security forces.
He said that militants were preaching on loudspeakers but they did not fight or harass local people.
Qader added that foreign rebels must be taken out of the area because they were the main cause of violence.
Baghlan police chief Col. Abdul Bashir Rashid also said that an article of the agreement was not observed yet. He said that the militants from neighbor districts and areas should be withdrew. Other militants remain in Dand Ghori would be joined with the peace process.
A local elder Omar Khan said, “We signed the pact in order to prevent blood shedding and solve the problem between the Taliban and the government through negotiation,”
He said that their discussion with the Taliban was underway to withdraw militants of other areas and pave the ground for joining local rebels to peace process.
Earlier, a number of provincial council members, civil society activists and the Wolesi Jirga called the pact a concession to Taliban militants. The Wolesi Jirga summoned the border and tribal affairs minister on the issue.
However, border and tribal affairs minister Mohammad Gulab Mangal said that the pact was not signed with the Taliban but it was signed between the government and local elders.
Dand Ghori was in the Taliban control form the past three months and the government could not recapture the area yet.
Taliban militants fired 12 rockets from Dand Ghori to Pul-I-Khumri city and killed a man and a child injured more than 10 others.
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