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Residents in outlying provinces earlier had taken up arms and kicked out the Taliban in a movement to end the militant oppression; now the movement has come close to the capital.
KABUL – The protests against Afghan Taliban militants, which started in more remote areas of the country in March, have recently reached the edges of Kabul.
Hundreds of residents in October stood up against the Taliban and kicked them out of the Surobi District, only 25km from Afghanistan’s capital city in Kabul Province.
The Taliban have long been oppressing everyday Afghans in many ways. Children have been intimidated into not going to school, charitable organisations have been unable to help the area’s residents and the militants have been obstructing the reconstruction efforts.
Earlier this year, Afghan citizens decided to show they had had enough. Ghazni and Ghor provinces were the first areas where residents took an active stance against the Taliban. The movement was initiated by some university students who were responding to the Taliban’s shutdown of schools and hospitals.
Uprisings gaining momentum
The popular uprisings that started in Ghazni Province have spread to other provinces – including Baghlan, Kapisa, Nangarhar, Faryab and Laghman – in recent months.
More recently, Surobi residents have formed lashkars (peace committees) and taken up arms to forcibly evict the Taliban from 10 villages in the district, said one Surobi man who participated in the popular uprising.
“We will fight alongside our nation against those who interfere in our country,” one resident told Tolo News, “and we are collaborators with our government and our people.”
The public, frustrated by the Taliban’s presence in Surobi, is ready to co-operate with the government, said Mohammad Naieem, another Surobi resident.
Afghan forces earlier this year assumed responsibility for maintaining the Surobi District’s security.
And residents of the troubled Siahgard District, just north of Kabul, for example, are ready to stand up against the militants, Parwan Governor Abdul Basir Salangi said recently.
NDS works to oversee popular uprisings
Most such uprisings are happening in troubled areas where citizens want the Taliban out of their lives. Those fighting the Taliban in Logar Province are asking the government for help.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) deputy spokesman Shafiqollah Taheri explained his agency’s role.
"The NDS is working to provide guidance, protection and support to the popular uprisings," Taheri said.
Time to rebuild, make up for lost time
Angry civilians who have been battling the militants dealt them a strong blow, depriving them of control of areas they had dominated for the past 10 years.
Since the early 2000s, the Taliban blocked all reconstruction efforts in Andar District, Ghazni Province, Andar resident Mohammadollah said. The residents who valiantly evicted the militants expect the government and international organisations to help them reconstruct their areas, he said.
"Had the people risen up 10 years ago, and had they prevented those militants from closing down their children’s schools, their children would not have been deprived of learning for such a long time,” Mohammadollah said, expressing support for the uprising.