MAIMANA (PAN): Provincial authorities say security situation in Faryab province is comparatively better but express fear that nascent law and order can deteriorate if proper attention is not given to maintain tight security.
Faryab is the northern province of the country where bolstered security is considered of paramount importance.
Faryab Governor Mohammadullah Baktash insists security is considerably better as compared to the past.
He was appointed as governor of Faryab last year at a time when ISAF troops were leaving the province and the security condition was not good. The surrounding areas of Maimana city were insecure with three to five terror incidents were taking place almost every day.
Baktash says mountainous areas of Pashtun Kot district were under rebels’ control but they have now been flushed out of the areas by the security forces with the cooperation of locals.
The district faces no security threat for time now, he said, adding there were reports of growing insecurity in some far-flung localities of the district, which would be tackled after consultations with the security forces.
“We have challenges in Ghormach district. There are reports of a six member Pakistani groups distributing cash and weapons in Ghormach in order to stop construction of Qaisar Ring Road and Almar Dam,” he added.
The construction of ring road was started two days back, which is progressing well but heavy presence of Taliban hampering construction of the road, he remarked.
Almar district will be purged of militants very soon, he noted.
Local authority says Almar Dam is constructed with the cost of $54 million, which will help irrigate 300,000 hectares land.
In addition, two drinking water canals and ten kilometers road from the center of the district to Almar Dam is also covered by the project, which is being funded with the development budget of Water and Energy Ministry.
But Maulvi Rahmatullah Turkistani, head of Faryab Provincial Council says security condition is deteriorated and the people are concerned about lawlessness, adding security in Almar, Qaisar, Ghormach, Pashtunkot and Dawlatabad is worsening with accelerated steps and the rebels roam on highways harassing commuters.
Turkistani says Pakistani Taliban and members of Uzbekistan Islamic Movement are active in Qaisar district where police force is weak and cannot confront the militants.
Faryab governor says: “Security is not deteriorated. I am ready to tender my resignation if ten persons say that insecurity is spreading in the province.”
Head of the Provincial council says government should appoint locals as head of the security forces because they are familiar with the area and can play far-greater role to ensure peace and stability in the area.
Though he himself and police chief do not hail from Faryab but it does not mean to ignore their prime duties of building tight security in the province, the governor added.
He said security forces, national police and national army had been striving to ensure and maintain order and security elsewhere in the province.
Head of the provincial council says: “People are ready to stand against the Taliban if the government supports the uprising. People will flush out militants from the area.”
“Police have no sophisticated weapons with them while Taliban kill and set on fire security posts by storming police check points,” he added.
Qurban Guldi, a resident of Qaisar district says Taliban attacked three local police check posts but police left their posts without offering any resistance, adding militants then set the check post on fire.
Abdul Jamil Saddiqui, district governor of Qaisar says five police and four rebels were killed in the attack, saying that police force did not have proper coordination with other forces.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a local elder of the district says civilians were suffering losses during every clash between the security forces and militants.
“Most of the families have migrated to safer places because of fighting between the security forces and rebels,” he added.
He went on to say that Taliban’s sanctuaries should be bombarded through places and the government should support the local commander to purge the area of Taliban.
Haji Rehmatullah, a resident of Qaisar district says mortars and shells hit residential areas during clash between militants and security forces, resulting in civilian casualties.
“We ask Taliban and government forces not to target civilian population,” he urged.
He said he had been displaced from Mirak and had to shift to Qaisar district along with 200 families due to clashes.
Fathullah Qaisari, an MP says nearly 5,000 families from Khaja Kenti and Ghora-e-Qaisar areas were forced to migrate to other places.
Criticizing the role of the local police, he said government should chalk out a plan to ensure peace in the area and help return the displaced families.
“Sayyed Shah Rukh Shah is heading a 300 member battalion in Qaisar district. He is neither experienced nor has professional capabilities who is recruited nepotism and favoritism. Shah Rukh has no good reputation while dealing with his subordinates, which negatively impact the morale of the police force,” he informed.
The MP went on to say that the government should form a delegation to evaluate the performance of the local police force and then bring some sort of tangible changes in the high officials.
“We have problem with the local police and we propose that police should not be politicized. The local police should be integrated into national police,” he added.