Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Anti-Taliban Group Fighting Back Without Afghan Government Help

From Afghan women tackling the Taliban to locals taking them on, it looks like this could be one effective way that might lead to the demise of the neanderthal militants in Afghanistan.  

32-year-old Sayed Farhad Akbari  is not just some local yokel, he's a company director for a construction company in Logar. He decided to fight back after the Taliban gunned down his mum on her way home from Kabul. His brother and four others were also traveling in a bus when they were attacked, but his mum was the only one who died.

After that incident I was fed up and angry. I wanted to leave the country but I changed my mind. I thought I should stay and help save my village from the Taliban.”

It started at a grassroots level in a mosque, and now he has 50 other villages involved with 200 armed men, and 2,000 who will join forces once they receive weapons. Akbari must be relatively wealthy since he says he has purchased, with his own money, $160,000 worth of cars, motorcycles and more importantly weapons and ammunition.

The government has tried to get him to join the "government-sponsored police' programmes, but he has refused claiming the Afghan Local Police (ALP) are "corrupt and ineffectual."

"Yes, the government has asked us to join the ALP but we will not. The government is corrupt, they keep freeing the Taliban they arrest. The government has lost its strength and effectiveness."

Although his mother's death was the catalyst, he says he took up arms because of other Taliban horrors.

They killed seven schoolgirls from his village and closed their school, as well as five members of the same family whose son worked for the government and a local mullah who had called on the insurgents to stop the violence.

His group has managed to kill 23 Taliban militants since August, when they started to fight back.

And apparently he's right about the "corrupt" government releasing Taliban detainees. NATO says that of  70 Taliban insurgents they arrested in Akbari's province, only six of those have actually gone to trial, and none were convicted. NATO Navy Lieutenant Anthony Sham said:

“One of the big things we see in Logar is not necessarily payment to get somebody out of jail, but people vouching for each other, somebody in a position of leadership saying, ‘No, this detainee is a good person.’“

So Akbari and other local villagers will fight on, alone.

“We are not against Islam, we are against those who misuse Islam for their own benefit and terrorize people,” he said.
“The area is now cleared. We are also helping young boys who study and get brainwashed in Taliban madrassas to come and study in our schools.”

This is probably the only way the war against the Taliban will be won, since after all these years we haven't seemed to make much of a dent.

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