Private militias to be disarmed in Nangarhar: Gen. Shahim
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qadam Shah Shahim has said private and unauthorised militias would never be allowed to operate and such groups in eastern Nangarhar province would be disarmed.
Gen. Shahim expressed these views during a trip to restive Achin district in Nangarhar late on Saturday evening.
He said about 200 people had been armed an in area between Achin and Nazyan districts 15 kilometres from Achin district centre. “These militiamen are sometimes linked to an uprising and sometimes to a respected Wolesi Jirga member, but we don’t allow unauthorized militias to operate.”
Hundreds of people some time ago had waged an uprising against Taliban and Islamic State insurgents in Achin district in support of lawmaker Haji Zahir Qadir.
Qadir had said the militia was an uprising group who protected local people from Daesh militants.
The chief of army staff said the government had appointed a high-level delegation to investigate about private militias and action would be taken against such armed groups once the delegation completed its investigation.
The top general inspected posts manned by the Afghan army and other security forces in Achin and called the ongoing airstrikes in the district as effective.
Shahim said airstrikes by the Afghan Air Force had targeted a number of Daesh centres, killing above 100 militants and the strikes would continue and would be followed by ground operations.
He said Daesh militants in the district had been subdued but negative propaganda had a bad impact on the situation of Nangarhar.
Provincial council member, Zabihullah Zamarai, who accompanied Shahim, said: “The chief of army staff’s visit to Achin will boost the morale of forces on the ground.”
He said Shahim had promised to intensify airstrikes and artillery shelling against Daesh militants.
A tribal elder in Achin, Shan Bacha, said the government should drive Daesh militants from the district because thousands of acres of arable land could not be cultivated with crops. He called for the airstrikes on Daesh hideouts to be continued.
Meanwhile, Nangarhar Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi told Pajhwok Afghan News that they would first try to resolve the issue of private militias understandably.
“We welcome people’s uprisings but within the law, if there is no mechanism how to deal with such groups, we will prepare it.”
Zahir Qadir had told a press conference that local people had risen in arms against Islamic State in order to protect their areas and they had no intention to raise private militias.
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