Farah’s Gulistan district falls to Taliban, say residents
FARAH (Pajhwok): Some residents of Gulistan district of western Farah province on Tuesday claimed the district had fallen to the Taliban, but provincial officials said the town’s headquarters were relocated for the sake of good governance.
Gulistan is a remote district where telephonic services do not work in many parts. Fazl Ahmad, who lives in Toot Kali area of the district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the district fell to the Taliban on Tuesday noon.
He said the insurgents stormed the district centre and the Afghan National Army base and captured the district centre. He said government forces had moved to Toot area between Gulistan and Bakwa districts.
Ahmad Khalid, who is actual resident of Gulistab but lives in Farah City, the provincial capital, also said that security forces had abandoned the spot where they were stationed in the district and had moved to Toot area.
“The Gulistan district had actually fallen to Taliban two years ago. Only two villages were in control of government forces and the rebels controlled the rest,” he said.
But Farah Governor Mohammad Asif Nang rejected the fall of Gulistan to Taliban at a press conference. He said the government had decided to shift elsewhere the district headquarters from Kehna Qala area and this job was done without any lose.
He said the relocation was aimed at finding solution to the bad governance in Gulistan and to enable the district administration to be effective and able to serve the people.
He said the new area chosen for the district centre was between Toot and Ghani Margh areas and 80 percent people of the district could approach the district administration now.
Also present at the press conference was 207 Zafar Military Corps commander in the west, Brig. Gen. Taj Mohammad Mujahid, who also rejected Gulistan had fallen to the Taliban.
“The relocation of the district government was preplanned. It does not mean the district has collapsed, it was not a military decision but a political move on a larger scale aimed at ensuring good governance. The shifting would benefit the district residents,” he said.
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