Ghor governor views armed groups as major security threat
KABUL (Pajhwok): Western Ghor province has been in the grip of insecurity due to the ongoing Taliban insurgency and frequent clashes among illegal armed groups, a top government official said on Monday.
Governor Seema Joyenda, during an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, claimed having played a vital role in minimising disputes between different tribes that had resulted in bloody clashes and social disturbance in the past.
Also a former Wolesi Jirga member, she said over the past four decades, most residents of Ghor had been involved in internal disputes besides experiencing the insurgency. The situation led to backwardness, ignorance and violations of basic human rights.
Security officials believe 4,500 illegal gunmen -- part of 103 different groups -- and 3,500 insurgents are currently active in the provinces, posing a severe threat to security.
The governor claimed settling some disputes that had lingered on for decades. The tribes involved are now living peaceful and happy lives --free of fear.
Joyenda, the second woman governor in Afghanistan’s history, revealed: “A 60-member council has been formed to work for the settlement of long-running tribal disputes.”
She noted decades of war and economic downturnhad significantly contributed to multiple problems, including disputes. For instance, she said, the Taimani tribe had a dispute with the Reza tribe.
The governor also cited spats among Murghabi, Ghilmani, Charsadadyee and Allah Yari tribes, Similar, Mullah Mustafa had enmity with Commander Pahlawan in the not-so-distant past.
The tribes would often attacked each other’s women, cut off the forests and destroy farmlands. But now such incident have declined, but some armed men still resort to gunbattles.
After six years of feuding, Taimani and Reza tribes have decided to bury the hatchet. The tribes living in Dolina district have lost at least 130 people, including women and children.
In addition, thousand of families from both sides have been displaced and millions of afghanis lost to past attacks. The recent peace accord between them was brought about by the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC)
The governor claimed her administration had made major achievements in terms of security, development of education, eradication of drugs, law enforcement and acceptance of women’s rights in line with the teachings of Islam
But Ghor hasits own peculiar geographic location, bordering six restive provinces, according to the governor, who acknowledged the need for more steps to ensure security.
She has traveled to remote areas of the province to meet the families of martyrs and wounded security personnel and providethem with cash assistances.
She has also visited security check-posts to closely monitor the situation. She recentlywent to the Shah Joi locality of Dolina district to support security officials there and commend their sacrifice.
Joyenda, who travelled 110 kilometres from Ferozkoh, the provincial capital, to Shah Joi, said Afghan women like Malalai had historically stood by their security forces and did not leave them alone even on the battlefield.
She called the security personnel her sons, promising to stay in touch with them. “The purpose of my visit was to tell the Taliban that women will rise against them and in defence of their motherland alongside their security forces.”
The governor is currently in Kabul to seek the central government’s support for meeting grave challenges in Ghor. Dilapidated roads, non availability of electricity and lack of infrastructure are the major issues faced by the people.
The Ministry of Public Works recently provided 10 vehicles, and the Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (ABS) gave one power generator to the province.
Joyenda said poppy cultivation had declined to zero in areas under government control, where the crime rate had also decreased significantly.
Asked about the condition of women in Ghor, she replied they still faced violations of their basic rights. Forced marriage, use as a dispute-settlementtool, deprivationof a share in inheritance and denial of franchise and education are among the challenges facing women in Ghor.
About the recent stoning of a girl, she argued her administration was yet to enforce its writ in that part of the province, about 60 from Ferozkoh. She vehemently denounced the incident.
On Oct. 25, local Taliban publicly stoned to death 19 years old Rokhshana on the charge of adultery with an unmarried man, who was whipped, in Awdak Ghaleem village.
Gen. Hanif Nuristani, the provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, said the Taliban stoned the woman and awarded lashes to the man without having any evidence of their crime.
Ms. Seema was born in 1982 in the Chaghcharan district of Ghor. She has also served at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and Ministry of Education.
She was appointed as Ghor governor five month ago by President Ashraf Ghani on the recommendation of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).
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