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Defense Minister confides that war in Farah is over water

Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: In the wake of deterioration of security and outrage of the insurgent Taliban in western Farah province, high-ranking security brass along with General John W. Nicholson Commander of the Resolute Support Mission travelled to Farah on Saturday, meeting with residents and pledging to address security grievances and batter the militants.

Last week, the Taliban insurgents staged a massive attack on government and police complexes in Farah city. But after a day of fighting, government forces drove the rebels out of the city to the outskirts. Unrest still haunts several districts and the surrounding areas of the main city.

The Minister of Defense, Tariq Shah Bahrami, said that the government forces utilized all they had to buffer the insurgent attack on Farah. At a meeting with resident and media outlets in the provincial hall, Bahrami said that war in Afghanistan has different dimensions. “More than twenty terrorist groups are steering the fight in the region, and some of them are supported by both neighboring states,” he reckoned, warning that war in Farah is a deliberate war on Afghanistan waters. “Animosity had begun ever since the Salma Dam was built in Herat and work on Bakhshabad Dan started.” It is the legal right of our peoples to manage and utilize their water resources, he said, addressing neighboring states that seek out to sabotage the country’s grand infrastructural plans.

Bahrami further added, “We will win this war as we are on the right side of the war”.

The Minister of Interior, Wais Ahmad Barmak, spoke of reforms in police establishments within the next two weeks in Farah, insisting that the police forces fighting and defending Farah will be rewarded and those who neglected and deserted will be punished.

“Special Forces will be formed to be deployed in the province to prevent such ferocious militant attacks from happening,” said Chief of the National Directorate of Security, Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai.

General John W. Nicholson, Commander of the U.S.-led Resolute Support Mission addressing the security brass and residents said, “I wished that today my massage is only to wish you a happy Ramadan with your family, but unfortunately the Taliban supported by some neighbors have elected to attack Farah during holy month of Ramadan.”

“I heard you pain, your frustration, your sadness, your anger. We, in the coalition, pray for victims and families and also pray for those Afghan forces, the police, army and NDS, who fought to defend the city,” he said. Nicholson stated that Afghan security and defense forces should be supported further to be enabled to defend Farah city. ‘We should reward those leaders who performed well and replace those who didn’t,” he mentioned.

He vowed to work closely with the Afghan ministers to wisely concoct an adamant strategy to protect civilians and defend Farah. “We will stay with you to bring a peaceful conclusion,” he said. Nicholson also called on the Taliban to accept the offer of peace from President Ghani and allow the country to live in peace that it deserves.

People of Farah during the session with security officials expressed grievances over shortage of security reinforcements in the province, insinuating Iran in the unrest. Member of Farah Provincial Council, Dadullah Qane’i, said that Iran was orchestrating the war in Farah. He also complained of neglect of security forces, adding that since three months Farah people were shouting that this province is on the verge of fall.

An ex-senator Belqis Roshan said that Iran was behind Farah unrest. She said that the instability in Farah called for further government intervention to beef up security.

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