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 An Ariana Media Publication 08/28/2016
 Operations fail to stem Nuristan unrest: Residents

By Muhammad Hassan Khetab

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KABUL - Residents on Thursday said several security operations by Afghan forces had failed to stem insurgent activities in Kamdesh and Barg-i-Matal districts of eastern Nuristan province.

They voiced deep concerned over increasing activities of Afghan and Pakistani Taliban in the areas, fearing insecurity could spread to other parts of the restive province.

Blaming the government for being unable to find a permanent solution to the insecurity that challenged its writ, the dwellers said the insurgents easily returned to their safe havens across the border into Pakistan to escape operations.

A Pajhwok reporter, who met influential figures and residents, said residents of the districts were concerned over the situation and wanted the government to take firm action against the escalating militant-linked violence.

Deputy provincial council head, Mir Mohammad Khan, said: "Terrorists backed by Pakistani intelligence agents have been active in the province over the past few years and have been in control of some districts.''

He added the guerrillas, both Afghan and Pakistani, continued to hold sway in Barg-i-Matal and Kamdesh despite recent security operations. Afghan troops were deployed to the districts two months ago, but roads linking the towns to the rest of the province remained closed.

The 201st Selab Military Corps commander for eastern zone, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Zaman Waziri, however, said Afghan National Army (ANA) troops deployed to the province had been able to drive rebels from the two towns. He asked people to help security forces ensure security for the entire province.

A tribal elder, Mir Mohammad Khan, said they had witnessed in the past two years that the two districts were overrun by insurgents, who fled to Pakistan after when Afghan forces launched operations against them.

Referring to recent rebels attack in Kamdesh, he said a large number of armed insurgents led by Pakistani generals attacked the town a few days ago and as a result many civilians were killed and wounded.

He claimed most of the militants who attacked the district were Urdu speakers and Pakistani Pashtu accent.

An influential figure from Kamdesh Malik Zarin said the Taliban used to attack in compliance with decrees issued by scholars in Pakistan and then returned back to their safe heavens across the border. “Pakistan supports and sends terrorists to Nuristan to enslave Afghanistan once again,” he said.

Resident Abdul Ghayas claimed the Taliban controlled Kamdesh and Barg-i-Matal district more than the security forces, with the Afghan government taking no concrete steps to block militant infiltration into the province.

The 201st Selab Military Corps 2nd brigade commander, Col. Hayatullah Aqtash, said Afghan forces had the ability to eliminate insurgents, who, he said had no courage to enter a face-to-face engagement with security forces.

He added the Taliban were being trained, equipped across the border, where they enjoyed safe heavens. “The rebels flee to Pakistan when they come under pressure from security forces,” he said.

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