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Afghans rise up against Taliban
Oppression by militants provokes uprising
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Militant oppression of Afghans has led residents of Ghazni and Ghor provinces to organise – and occasionally take up arms against the Taliban and other groups.
Violence, bombings and mass poisonings (mostly affecting girls) that make school attendance impossible; threats and kidnappings meant to drive away doctors and engineers; and obstruction of reconstruction projects are among the causes that have driven disgusted Afghans to rise up.
Over the last three months, residents of Andar District, Ghazni Province, and Ghor Province have been battling the insurgents, killing more than 100 of them so far, said engineer Lotfollah Kamran, the leader of the popular uprising in Andar.
“In the past 10 years, the Taliban have been preventing people and students, from learning, working and living their lives,” said Kamran. The people no longer could stand it, and the uprising, which six university students launched in March, now has hundreds of supporters, he said.
“The main factor that led to the popular uprising ... were efforts by militants to prevent students from going to school, as well as to obstruct the activities of physicians and medical clinics,” Muhammad Ali Alizadeh, who represents Ghazni in the Afghan House of Representatives, told Central Asia Online.
Andar District in Ghazni Province was once a militant stronghold, but local residents have forced them out, after they started their struggle against them in March Alizadeh said. Impressed by their success, residents of other Ghazni areas now are determined to oust militants in their areas, he added.
“In the last 10 years, people faced different problems from the Taliban, and now they stand against them,” Mullah Ahmad Shah, a resident of Ghazni Province, told Central Asia Online. “I think why we did not stand against them before. I think it’s also not late, we are ready to support the people’s uprising.”
In clashes over the past few months in different areas, there were no casualties among residents who fought the militants -- only a few injuries were reported.
Declaring jihad against militants
Jihad against Taliban militants in Ghazni is a religious duty, some religious scholars argue, contending the Taliban violate Islamic principles and even desecrate the Koran.
Inspired by the Ghazni example, Ghor Province residents have also stood up to militants.
Since April, 50,000 families residing in Pasavand District have prepared 500 young volunteers to help the government fight the militants, Abdulhay Khatibi, spokesman for Ghor’s governor, told Central Asia Online. Community leaders have asked them to remain vigilant and to report any militants' movements in the area.
If the government needs armed volunteers, the people of the area will provide them to fight the militants, Khatibi said.
In addition, the residents of Chaghcharan, the provincial capital, have provided 100 of their young men to aid the government. The 100 will co-operate with security forces to prevent militants from threatening the public through intelligence sharing about militants in the area, as well as take up arms if the army needs additional firepower.
Ghor is one of the poor western provinces, where reconstruction and rehabilitation projects have languished during the past 10 years, said Sher Muhammad, a Ghor resident.
He had no complaints about the government and international community’s relative lack of focus on Ghor, he said. However, he denounced insurgents for obstructing reconstruction efforts.
Sher noted the militants’ abduction of, and threats against, physicians and engineers deployed by the government to the province as a major cause of dissatisfaction with the militants.
Satar, another resident of Ghor Province, told Central Asia Online, that residents of his area are now more willing to support the Afghan government against the militants, due to their brutal activities against the civilians.