Taliban demand volunteers or money from Farah residents
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): The Taliban have asked residents of Pusth Rod district of western Farah province to send four persons per mosque to join the insurgency or pay 40,000 afghanis for each of the four, residents say.
Naqibullah, one of the Pusht Rod residents, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had made the announcement on loudspeakers in mosques and had asked people to provide with four volunteers per mosque or play 40,000 afghanis for each of the four.
He said the Taliban did not tell the people for how long they needed volunteers. According to Naqibullah, most villages of Pusht Rod are in Taliban control, the group fighters are making announcement on loudspeakers and pasted leaflets with the same announcement on walls and at public places.
“The people are poor, they will either migrate to other areas or will accept the Taliban demand,” said Naqibullah.
Obaidullah, a resident of Brangak locality, confirmed the announcement and said he and his family had migrated to Farah City, the provincial capital, fearing the Taliban would enroll him.
The Pusht Rod district chief, Ghausuddin, said the Taliban had launched a recruitment campaign in the district and were making announcements in this regard on loudspeakers from all mosques. “Now people are deciding what to do.”
The official said the Taliban operating in the district were loyal to the movement’s new supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah. The Hezb-i-Islami militants also existed in the district, but they too were aligned to Haibatullah, he said.
He said there were 62 villages in Pusht Rod and each village at a mosque. The Taliban are in control of most of the villages in Farah, according to Ghausuddin.
He said it was not easy to prevent the Taliban’s campaign even in government-controlled areas because the rebels used to threaten people with elimination if they disobeyed them.
The district chief said he had informed the provincial intelligence department and the police headquarters of the Taliban’s announcement, but there had been no response.
But Farah deputy police chief Col. Mohammad Ghaus Malyar denied receiving any report about the matter. He said they were aware the Taliban had asked each family in districts to give them 5,000 afghanis each as usher and zakat.
He said they had called tribal elders from districts and had told them not to give the money to the Taliban.
But a security official in the police headquarters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Taliban had asked people to support them in the conflict.
He said the Taliban were doing so in order to capture the Anardara district and establish a base there.
Calls seeking comments from the Taliban went unanswered.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.