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Taliban, security forces accused of harassing civilians

Taliban, security forces accused of harassing civilians

Feb 15, 2017 - 17:09

CHARIKARinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Residents of central Parwan province, having sympathies with Talibaninfo-icon and security forces, complain the harsh behavior of the warring parties has forced them to migrate to other places.

But both security forces and the insurgent movement deny harassing civilians, insisting they never create problems for unarmed people.

Gul Khanam, 30, hailing from Shinwari district, alleged the Taliban killed her husband four years back. She was forced to leave her home with two daughters and three sons -- 3 to 11 years old.

“The Taliban got Roohullah, my husband, off a vehicle and shot him to death because his brother Abdul Malik was a commander of Afghan Local Police (ALP).

“In the darkness of night, we managed to flee the area, fearing the Taliban may kill us,” the woman says, adding they reached Jabal-us-Saraj district early in the morning.

“If the Taliban had seen us in daytime, they would have stopped us fleeing” They lived for sometime in Abshar and Charikar, the provincial capital, after leaving Shinwari.

“My husband’s brother is helping us, but his salary is not enough and we are struggling financially. My children collect wood and other materials for burning. I cannot admit them to school because we don’t have the resources,”

Abdul Malik says they had to migrate from Shinwari district to Charikar as Taliban posed a threat to their lives. Some of his relatives live a life of fear at the hands of rebels in Shinwari.

He alleges the Taliban beat his cousin Hamza when he tried to migrate from Gahwara village to Qeshlan.

Bibi Ayesha, 60, claims her son Zmarai was killed by the insurgents three years back. She had to migrate with her widow daughter-in-law and five grandchildren from Kahan Da village to the Tatamdara area of Charikar.

Paying 1,500 afs in house rent, she says: “The Taliban told my son to take up arms and fight against the government. When he refused, he was killed by the militants.”

Col. Alozai Ahmadi, coordinating officer of security forces, says the fighters have killed around 20 relatives of security personnel in Shinwari, Koh-i-Safi and Siah Gird districts of Parwan.

In addition, 77 families and relatives of security forces had to migrate from their places to Kabulinfo-icon, Charikar and Siah Gird district centre.

Governor Mohammad Asem Asem charges harassing families and relatives of security forces has been Taliban’s policy -- a problem experienced across the province.

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejects the allegation as groundless. “It is the enemy’s propaganda. I vehemently reject this.

“I also want to say if any police or local security official has been killed, it is due to the crimes they committed and their relatives have never been harassed.”

Mujahid denied the Taliban forced relatives of security forces to leave their homes. Some outfits calling themselves local uprising groups have to migrate when Taliban capture their areas.

“We never intimidate innocent people. If anyone is threatened by other individuals posing as Taliban, we would punish them,” Mujahid warns.

He argues those fighting against the Taliban are not innocent and their families are not partners in their crime. There is no reason for suppressing the relatives of uprising members, he continues.

“If we find who threatened people from the address of Mujahidin the Taliban would punish that person and we always conducted investigation in this regard,” Mujahid added.

He, however, blasts government forces for threatening innocent civilians and bombarding families and individuals who never cooperate with the Taliban.

In a telephone contact with Pajhwok, Mirza Gul from Qamchaq locality whines: “I was arrested several times by ALP in Siah Gird district bazaar. They ask me why my son ‘Mohammad Hafiz’ joined the Taliban, my son is living separately and does not listen to my advice.”

He adds: “Other security forces also arrest and harass me. I cannot go to the bazaar or hospital for treatment, even though I am a civilian giving no connection with any group.”

Gul reveals his son Syed Mohammad was also nabbed by ALP for his brother’s connection with the Taliban. “ALP released my son in exchange for 10,000 afghanis but his motorcycle is yet to be returned,” he grumbles.

The ALP personnel allegedly torched the shop of Qand Agha in the Siah Gird bazaar on the charge of his brother-in-law of Mohammad Hafiz, he continues.

Around 20 families, whose relatives are Taliban members, have left their houses due to harassment and torture by ALP personnel in Qamchaq area, he asserts. This brutality has obliged people to swell Taliban ranks and seek revenge.

Ghulam Mohammad, a 65 years old man from the Wazghar area of Siah Gird, lives in a Taliban-controlled area. “Four years ago, I was arrested by security forces and sentenced to five months in jail,” he says.

“I was returning from a wedding party in Kabul when security forces detained me in Charikar on the charge of supporting the Taliban. Although they had no evidence, they jailed me,” he alleges.

Mohammad charges one of his cousins, having no links with any militant groups, was recently killed in an Afghan Air Force airstrike.

A large number of people living in areas under Taliban’s control are arrested and tortured by Afghan forces, he maintains.

Col. Ahmadi, coordinating commander for Afghan forces in Parwan, spurns the claims and says security forces never bother civilians and they conduct operations carefully to prevent civilian casualties.

If anyone is arrested, he should approach the relevant organs to have his problems addressed, he says, explaining they have not yet received any complaints in this regard.

Parwan Ulemainfo-icon Council head Maulviinfo-icon Abdur Rahim Shah Agha says Islam does not allow warring sides to harm innocent people even if they are non-Muslims.



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