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Uruzgan govt slammed for failing to enforce security


Uruzgan govt slammed for failing to enforce security

Oct 18, 2017 - 12:34

TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Inhabitants of central Uruzgan province have slammed the government for failing to ensure security and rein in insurgent outfits.

In addition to districts, residents grumble, the security situation in Tirinkot -- the provincial capital -- has been unstable over the past two years.

Having a field day, the Taliban militants once came close to storming the governor’s house and the provincial police headquarters.

Because of the fragile security environment, they say, thousands of families have been displaced. The affected families have to contend with serious hardships.

Ordinary residents, civil society activists and provincial council members hit out at the government for its failure to properly discharge its responsibility.

A shopkeeper in Tirinkot, Haji Obaidullah, complained the security situation had nosedived over the past one year across the province.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban were still active in areas around the governor’s house but their activities were widespread in the districts.

“Whenever I earn has to be spent on a two hours commute to my shop, which is just 20 minutes away from my home. But all short routes have been closed by the Taliban.”

A civil society activist, Javid Khpalwak, held a similar view, saying more than six generals had come to the province as police chiefs over the past one year, but no tangible improvement had been witnessed.

He blamed Kabul-based government officials for paying no heed to Uruzgan, which had slipped from their attention.

“If other provinces have been in a similar predicament, the president and all his cabinet members would have converged on them to resolve public problems,” he remarked.

Khpalwak said no high-level government official had come to asses Uruzgan’s situation in the past one year. As a result, no solution to the problems has been found yet.

A tribal elder in the Talani locality of Tirinkot, Malak Tawos, claimed security forces and other officials were locked in internal disputes and paid no heed to people’s problems.

He accused the local administration of having failed to discharge their duty properly. There was no coordination among security organs during operations, he maintained.

Tawos alleged areas were left to insurgents intentionally in many cases. He stressed the need for strong leadership of security forces to forge solid coordination among different organs.

Meanwhile, the provincial council also expressed concern over the security situation, asking the central government to find a solution to the problems in Uruzgan.

Amir Mohammad Barakzai, the provincial council head, told Pajhwok the security situation had been precarious over the past one year and all district roads were blocked.

Telecom services are inactive, commercial flights stopped, hospitals closed and thousands of families displaced, he lamented.

Fighting is ongoing in all districts, with Chora town teetering on the verge of collapse a few days ago. Most of the problems have emerged due to the inattention of the central government, he believed.

Provincial council members have visited Kabul and shared the problems of Uruzgan with the president and chief executive several times. The promises held out by them were not kept, he regretted.

He demanded comprehensive clearing operation in the province and a delegation from Kabul should be tasked with supervising anti-militant offensives.

Local officials acknowledged the public complaints but said Afghan forces had been significantly successful in their operations, having captured large swathes from militants.

Police chief, Brig. Gen. Rahmatullah Seddiqi, said despite frequent rebel attacks on district centres and the provincial capital, security threats had been reduced more security personnel had been recruited.

Many Afghan forces had sacrificed their lives in conflict with the militants in recent months and their achievements should not be ignored, he commented.

Many areas on the outskirts of Tirinkot had been cleared of militants during the past one year and search operations were still underway, Seddiqi explained.

Hundreds of militants had been killed or wounded during ground and air operations over the past year, he said, adding reforms were being introduced in police ranks. Qualified individuals are being employed in at the police headquarters.

Seddiqi said a 100-member security unit equipped with all needed weapons was also created for the security of the provincial capital.

But Governor Mohammad Nazir Kharoti claimed there was good coordination among military, civilian officials and NATO-led forces.

He said they were trying to control the situation and provide a peaceful environment for the people.

After the announcement of the new US strategy, Taliban activities had declined in Uruzgan and many commanders had opted for shunning the insurgency, he claimed.

Large-scale operations have already been planned to defeat the militants in the province. The offensive would begin from Chora district, he added.

The operations are aimed to improve security in Tirinkot and help pave the ground for the return of thousands of displaced families to their own areas.

Another goal of the operations was to reopen all blocked roads in the restive districts to facilitate people’s movement, he concluded.