PAN, June 9, 2013
Nangarhar province experiences growing insecurity, lawlessness: Residents
He said that armed insurgents roam in the area without any fear or clampdown by the police despite the fact that the security forces conducted several operations to purge the area of miscreants
By Mahbob Shah Mahbob
Residents of various districts of the eastern Nangarhar province complain of deteriorated security situation elsewhere in the province amid raging terror attempts, abduction, and roadside bomb blasts, blaming the authorities of turning blind eye to check the situation.
However, concerned officials of the province while refuting residents’ complain of mayhem and turmoil, said that security has witnessed considerable improvement in the province as compared to the past.
Sabawoon, a resident of Haska Mina District told Pajhwok Afghan News that earlier there were no security threats in the town however, the ongoing war contributed to the current mayhem and turmoil. “The security situation prompts many government employees to leave the area and shift to Jalalabad city,” he said, adding that target killings witnessed record surge with ten similar attacks took place in the current month.
He said that the provincial administration miserably failed to ensure security, adding that there are strong indications the insecurity could deteriorate further in parts of Nangarhar with special reference in Haska Mina District.
Hakim Khan, a resident of Batikot District said that the growing insecurity prompted residents to arm themselves when they move in the area. He said that armed insurgents roam in the area without any fear or clampdown by the police despite the fact that the security forces conducted several operations to purge the area of miscreants.
A wounded Afghan man chats with a security man at the scene of a bomb explosion in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. Two Afghans were wounded in a bomb explosion in Jalalabad the provincial capital of Nangarhar province, Afghan police officials said. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)
He went on to say that government employees could not go beyond Torkham-Jalalabad highway because of growing fear of ambush by armed rebels. He said that Punjabi Taliban are active in the area while the security forces are unable to take action against them.
Saifudin Storai, a resident of Majibor Abad area of Jalalabad city, said that people of the area could not go outside when the sun goes down while earlier they used to stay outside their homes till late night.
Recently, as many as three target killing cases took place in the area amid rampant theft and robbery bids on the streets. Nadia, a resident of Chaknor area of provincial capital said that insecurity is growing dramatically in the area with no check by the authority to control the situation.
People say that the provincial capital and other districts have been experiencing lawlessness and insecurity while the father of an Afghan cricketer, Mohammad Nabi was also kidnapped in a broad- day light from this locality.
Ashiqullah, a resident of Maulvi Khalis township in Behsud District said that there is complete breakdown of security situation at a distance of three kilometers from the provincial capital. He said that the government is unable to take any action at a time when the kidnappers abduct people for ransom in a broad-day light.
“Government has a poor presence here and people feel it strange when they observe the movement of a police vehicle in the area,” he said, adding it is the weakness of the government to take on the miscreants.
Provincial Council Secretary Lal Mohammad Durani admitted there was a sense of insecurity on the roads connecting Jalalabad city to other districts. He said that people face tremendous problems when they move between districts and the provincial capital. “Only Behsud, Rodat, Sorkh Roud, Kama, and Khewa Districts are stable in terms of security while you cannot visit the rest of the districts.”
Durani says that security related incidents are showing upward trend, prompting the authorities to launch a decisive action to purge the area of miscreants in an apparent attempt to win the favour and confidence of the people.
Amin, a member of provincial council while expressing grave concern over the lawlessness and security said that development projects could not be taken forward in the absence of security. She says: “We neither can hold fair and transparent polls nor can we ensure security of the people in the backdrop of deteriorated security situation.” Linking the current mayhem and unrest to unemployment, she urged the government to create more job opportunities for the youth, which would go a long way to discourage insecurity.
Ghulam Khan, a resident of Goshta District said that security and order have been improved considerably in the town as compared to the past following deployment of local police force in the town. He says: “Foreign rebels fled the district after the deployment of local police force in Goshta,” he said.
Deputy Police Chief Col. Masoom Khan Hashimi offered that security situation could be improved if residents of every district refused safe haven to rebels in their respective towns.
While insisting that security and order have been improved as compared to the past, Hashmi said that people and government officials could travel to remote districts any time. He says: “This province has 22 administrative units, but the problem of lawlessness prevails only in Sherzad and Hisarak Districts.”
He said that recently the local police have been deployed in a number of Nangarhar districts, leading to record reduction of security related incidents. He said that the fresh deployment of police force in Goshta, Door Baba, and Khogyani Districts yielded positive outcomes. He said they have launched operations in some districts, in which armed rebels were inflicted heavy losses. He said that the police force is armed with advance and modern weapons.
Governor’s Spokesman Ahmad Zeya Abdulzai said that progress has been achieved in terms of enhanced security in Nangarhar province, adding that Afghan security forces have the capabilities to launch operations in insecure areas. He said that professional capacity of Afghan security forces has been bolstered who are now armed with advance weaponry.
He admitted that security related incidents often witness increase during the spring seasons every year in the country including Nangarhar, adding but security situation has been improved to great extent. He says: “Achin, Nazian, and Khogyani Districts have definitely experienced insecurity in the past but the security and law and order have been improved.”
Abdulzai reassured that plans are under consideration to deploy more local police force in a number of districts. He said that the process of voter registration is going forward with tandem in Nangarhar as he has no report of any untoward incident so far in the district.
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