Zabul districts in danger of falling to Taliban

KABUL (Pajhwok): Four districts of southern Zabul province would fall to the Taliban if additional security forces are not sent, warned the provincial council chief on Saturday.
Ata Jan Haqbayan told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview in Kabul that Zabul was one of the provinces that had been without adequate security during the past 13 years.
He said the four districts --- Daichopan, Naw Bahar, Shamulzai and Atghar --- were among the most insecure districts and had been surrounded by insurgents.
He said if the government did not pay heed and increase the number of security forces in Zabul, the four districts would fall.
“The threats outweigh the number of police in Zabul. Around 30 policemen are assigned to each of these districts. With the current police numbers, it is very difficult to ensure security in these far-flung districts,” he added.
Haqbayan said he had shared his concerns with the leaders of the unity government, security officials and the National Security Council, urging them to increase the number of security forces in Zabul, especially in insecure areas.
He said government officials had promised measures in this regard, but nothing practical had been done so far.
The provincial council chief commended the performance of national security forces in Zabul, saying they had been able to effectively maintain security after the withdrawal of foreign troops from the province.
He said the provincial council had been trying to bridge the gap between the people and the government because without people’s support full security was not achievable.
“In the last few months our main task has been to remove the gap between the government and the people. Members of the provincial council had travelled to many provinces for talks with religious scholars, elders and local people,” Haqbayan said, adding that in many districts, tribal and religious councils have been set up to cooperate with the government.

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