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Hundreds protest against mounting insecurity in Nangarhar

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Hundreds of Nangarhar residents staged demonstrations on Monday in Kabul to protest what they said “mounting insecurity” in several parts of the province, calling the empowerment of the Taliban insurgents and emerging of the Islamic State the major elements.

Protestors accused the government of incompetence and negligence in ensuring security and said that six districts faced serious threats in the province.

They claimed that Taliban and Islamic State have made Achin, Nazian, Spinghar, Kot, De Bala and Shinwari districts unsafe.

Azizullah Shinwar, Head of Shinwari Tribal Council told media that due to mounting insecurity, so far around 30,000 families have fled their homes.

“Insurgents are trying to find foothold in the secure parts of Nangarhar,” Shinwar warned.

He asked the central government to dismiss the provincial governor, claiming he does not deserve the position.

“Nangarhar governor Salim Khan Kunduzi is an unskilled person and unable to manage the province. Therefore, people seriously want government to replace him with a capable person.”

“A large-scale operation should be conducted to eliminate Taliban in Shinwari and other districts,” said another protestor Zirak Shinwari.

He said Pakistani insurgents entered the bordering districts and compelled people to leave their homes.

“They kill tribal elders, torch schools and spark ethnic discriminations among people.”

Zulmai from Kot district said that 5,000 families were displaced to Kabul, living in the severe cold weather.

“Taliban and Islamic State are fighting each other and the security forces only watch them,” he said, adding that there is a good chance for them to remove the two groups.

Nangarhar is considered as a strategic province for the Islamic State and the terrorist organization has recently started recruiting the unaware youth there.

Earlier, the security forces claimed they killed tens of the Islamic State fighters through land and air operations there.

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