Badakhshan has become a 2nd Waziristan: PC chief
FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): The provincial council head has slammed the government’s unconcern over the capture of Warduj and Yamgan districts by Taliban, alleging northeastern Badakhshan province had been converted by terrorists into a second Waziristan.
Ahmad Bashir, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, warned the Taliban would step up their activities and capture more areas if the government did not take decisive action to retake control of the two districts.
He said foreign militants could easily sneakinto Badakhshan due to its long porous borders with some countries, particularly Pakistan,which had long been inimical to the Afghans. Many terrorists owned homes in the Khastak area of Juram district, he revealed.
“The number of militants in some areas has gone up and down because they change their locations from Jalalabad to Badakhshan. Currently Badakhshan has become a second Waziristan (safe haven for terrorists),” he remarked.
But he said the government had failed to target the extremist hideouts in the province. Security threats would increase with each passing day if Warduj and Yamgan were not wrested back from militants, he warned.
Despite promises, the government had failed to seize control of the two districts, Bashir noted, saying only a few militant attacks were foiled in the past year.
“Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, National Security Advisor (NSA) Hanif Atmar and foreign military commanders promised clearing Badakhshan of Taliban after Kunduz, but they have done nothing so far and the militants have increased their activities,” he alleged.
Provincial police Chief Brig. Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Ghafoori confirmed the two districts were still under Taliban control, where people suffered miseries. But he said there were some reasons why they could not recapture the districts.
However, he did not provide information about that reasons. “We have a joint plan with Afghan National Army (ANA) and intelligence forces for retaking control of Yamgan and Warduj districts, but we have no enough equipment, a problem we also shared with central government,” he said.
He said the central government had shared a plan with Badakhshan security organs that would be implemented in the near future to clear the two areas of rebels.
The threat posed by the fighters was not a matter of grave concern, Ghafoori said, adding Afghan forces were in a better position to beat back rebel attacks in the province. The forces had purged many areas in a series of operations.
The militants launched 59 attacks on different districts of the province this year, but the Afghan forces beat them back, inflicting heavy casualties on the assailants in counterattacks, he added.
He explained 263 militant commanders, each leading up to 50 rebels, had been killed, more than 100 others wounded and over 80 convinced into joining the peace process this year.
“In the past, the number of Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel was 520, but it increased to 1,640 this year. The personnel were deployed to Tagab, Shuhada, Arghanj khwah and Yaftal districts and in the sixth police district of Faizabad,” he said.
Deputy GovernorGul Mohammad Baidar said 500 reserve ANA forces were stationed in Badakhshan in addition to 1,600 upraising members and a thousand ALP personnel.
He said a large number of forces in the province showed the central government paid special attention to improving the security situation there.
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