Kohistan road blockade: Prices of essential items shoot up
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): A number of residents of northwestern Faryab province say the Taliban militants have blocked the transportation road to Kohistan district from the past two months, leaving the residents with acute shortage of food items.
Residents and a number of influential individuals said prices of basic commodities had soared in Kohistan due to the road blockade by the Taliban.
If the government failed to reopen the road in the near future, the people would get caught in snows and they would face complete starvation in the upcoming winter, they warned.
Mohammad Asghar, hailing from the Lolash area of Kohistan, told Pajhwok Afghan News the rate of 50 kilograms of flour had shot up to 2,800 afghanis, a tin of 18 liters of ghee to 2,500afs, a kilograms of sugar to 120afs and a 20kg bag of rice to 2,600afs.
He criticised the government for ignoring the area and said they should be informed whether the road to Maimana, the provincial capital, would reopen or residents themselves should do something before the winter’s advent.
Daktar Saadat, an Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander, said the Taliban had blocked the road after their attack on Kohistan district was thwarted two months ago.
More than 3,000 families are currently under the Taliban siege and the militants do not allow entrance of food and other essential items to the district, he said.
He added the government should reopen the road or at least restrict transportation of food items and fuel to the Taliban region.
Police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Nabi Elham, confirmed the militants had closed the road to Kohistan district. However, he said the government planned to reopen the road as soon as possible.
The Taliban would not be able to capture Kohistan district by harassing civilians and applying economic sanctions on them, he said, adding the government never lacked equipment and food items.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahidsaid the road had been blocked only for government officials, not for civilians.
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