Herat (PNA): Insecurity in the volatile Herat Province is getting deteriorated dramatically, posing a grave challenge for the government to reverse the tide of lawlessness, said residents and members of provincial council of the region.
Authenticating concerns of the residents and members of provincial council regarding lapses in security, the concerned authorities held out promises to launch targeted search operations to purge the area of militants. The officials said that no stone would be left unturned to improve security and law and order.
Sayed Waheed Qatali, head of provincial council says: “Thirteen districts out of fifteen are overrun or under the influence of Taliban and other insurgents groups.”
He admitted that insecurity is growing due to lack of coordination and communication among the security forces. The absence of active justice system and consultation with the members of the provincial council contribute to insecurity, he added.
He said that elders of the border region of Rabat Sangi locality had registered their complaints regarding the hideouts and opening of judicial courts by the Taliban in the area. The tribal elders said that Taliban in a broad-day light ambush government employees and people on streets and issuing them with death threats. Security forces, he said lost a golden chance to establish writ of the government.
Head of Herat provincial council is of the opinion that security forces should take his members into confidence, which would go a long way to arrest peace and improve law and order because the provincial council members have deeper influence on the people of the area.
The security has gone deteriorated to such an extent that members of the provincial council face sever threats to their lives, he added.
Qatali Said the government has double standard policy, adding that the local police were assigned to stabilize security in the area but now the authority is taking action against the police. He said that that kind of trend further widened gap between government and people.
Head of provincial council said that local police discharge their duties in civilian uniform refusing to wear proper uniform. He said that the local police roam armed while wearing civilian clothes, which is hard to differentiate them with the Taliban and other groups.
Another member of provincial council, Noor Muhammad Zareef while complaining about the deteriorated law and order in his area with special reference in Sheendand district said that his district was peaceful last year but now there is great mayhem and turmoil.
“There were no Taliban or other insurgent groups in Sheendand last year but this year due to Taliban tactics, many families left the area and migrated to safer places,” he added.
He went on to say that the vital Salma Dam in Chasht Sharif District is under dire threat, adding that Taliban’s presence in Gozri District would have dangerous impact in the long run.
He said that the main road and other roads linking districts including Herat- Farsi, Heart- Chasht and Herat- Kishk are under the control of Taliban. He went on to say that Taliban place barriers stopping people and creating multiple problems for them.
Sayed Mobeen, resident of Pashton Zarghoon district told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban have their hideouts and active judicial courts in the area. He said that Taliban held trial of a person known as Kamal who was accused of involvement in kidnapping and killing. He said that after finding him responsible, the Taliban executed Kamal in front of public on the charges of kidnapping and killing of a person known as Ali Sena”.
Alam Gul, a resident of Tor Gondi locality told Pajhwok Afghan News that a month ago Taliban cut off hands and legs of two persons after their public trails who were allegedly involved in robbery.
He said that Taliban still have their vice and virtue department. He said that Taliban have active presence in Kashk Khona, Sheendand, Obi, Chasht Sharif, Gozri, Adarskan, and Goryan Districts of Herat Province. People in Taliban-infested areas are fed up of Taliban tactics and oppose their presence.
Admitting Taliban presence in some parts of Herat Province, security forces are of the opinion though there is presence of Taliban, they are not strong enough to overrun or control districts.
Brigadier General Rahmatullah Sapi, Herat security chief says: “Following extended support by the people to the government, militants cannot dare to deteriorate the security of the area.”
He said that there is no existence of ideologically driven Taliban in his area of jurisdiction, admitting but there are some gangsters and looters who operate by using the name of Taliban.
He pledged that strategy has been finalized to arrest anti-state and anti-social elements and bring them to justice.
Referring to elections preparations, he said that the process of voters registration and distribution of card for voting have already been started in the province.
He expressed optimism that he does not think to face any hurdles in the way of conducting smooth polls.
“There are areas where fundamental needs of life have been ensured. However, some people and members of provincial council complain of insecurity in the province,” he added.
Due to growing insecurity, there are areas in the province where people don’t have access to social services such as Telephone, Hospital, Schools and other facilities.
Engineer Agha Mohammad Sadiq, head of provincial ruler development says: “Projects of national integration have been implemented in all villages and districts, which did not face any sort of security threats.”