A government delegation that was commissioned about a week ago to investigate the roots of recent violence in Uruzgan and Ghazni provinces, arrived back in Kabul on Monday evening, November 12, after a week of investigations and discussions with residents of these provinces and local authorities. The following are excerpts of an interview of Mr Asadullah Fallah, taken by an 8 A.M Daily.
The Situation in Jaghori: “People’s Morale Weakened”
The advisor to president on conflict resolution, Asadulllah Fallah, admits that security in “Jaghori is very fragile and the threats are also very high.” He expressed that in the first night of Taliban offensives on Jaghori district, a local commander, Bashi Habibullah, was killed with two of his sons and several guards.
According to Mr. Falah, Habibullah’s demise has weakened the people’s morale. Additionally, “30 indigenous forces have also been killed in dispersed clashes in Ghazni for the last seven days which conceded that about 81 security forces, including commando forces, Jaghori Police and indigenous forces, were killed”. 120 Taliban fighters have been also killed.
A severe problem is that of displacement, which is seen in residents in the district, “especially those in the villages of Hotqol, Dawood, Icha and Baba, fleeing their homes and displaced to the central localities of the district of Jaghori”, as informed by Mr. Fallah.
Malistan: Lack of Cooperation and Complacent Mobilisation
The report on Malistan indicates that several MPs were involved in the appointments of security officials as well as the chief of district.
The report states that the Malistan District Police Chief has had disagreements with his deputy and head of criminal investigation department, leading the overall the security establishments in the district into an “absolute disorder.”
“When the security forces wanted to go to the district of Uruzgan Khas through Malistan to stop the Taliban group, nobody from Malistan police officials accompanied them”, according to Asadullah Fallah.
Mr Fallah also adds that “18 police officers from the Malistan district police have been appointed as personal bodyguards of Malistan representatives in National Assembly and provincial council instead of contributing to the security of the district. The total police formation in the district is about 60 people, about 5 of whom have been deployed as service forces in Ghazni province. Even though the district police own several armored tanks and light weapons, they did not use it properly when the Taliban attacked the district.
Uruzgan Khas: Taliban Sought Hegemony by Demanding Taxes
The findings of the delegation show that the Taliban aware attempting to acquire tax from the villagers of Kondalan, Hossaini, and Siabaghal. Taliban have also asked the villagers to hand any weapons they posses, over to the Taliban. Another part of the Taliban’s demands from the residents of the mentioned areas was “to resort to jihad” against the government, according to Assadullah Fallah.
According to the advisor to the president for conflict resolution, “The Taliban tried to collect taxes from the people after the capture of the district and use them against the government”.
“People in these areas were killed by the Taliban following their disobedience, 25 in Kondalan, 9 in Hossaini and 20 people in other villages of the district. 11 security forces are also among thse who were killed in Uruzgan Khas district. Six of the security forces were also wounded in this war,” informed Asadullah Fallah.
According to Asadullah Fallah, 850 residents of the district have been displaced who are now in Jaghori and Malistan districts of Ghazni, and a small number of them have returned to the district.
Calm Before the Storm?
The Taliban’s forces have gone to Malistan and Jaghori districts in the past few days to counter the security forces, and as a result, relative calm and stability returned to the district. However, the security of the district still remains fragile, Mr. Fallah said.
Assadullah Fallah said that even though aids were already considered by the government and partner organisations for displaced people, they have not yet been provided to them, due to continued battles.