Faryab provincial representatives said on Tuesday that a number of villages in their province have once again collapsed to the Taliban following Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum’s reportedly successful operation last month.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) responded and said they will not allow the cleared areas to again fall to the Taliban. The Interior Minister also said that the security forces will suppress the Taliban in the north and in other parts of the country.
Dostum, who spent almost four weeks on the frontline in Faryab, cleared the area of insurgents but they reportedly returned only days after he left for Kabul.
Among the areas that have apparently collapsed to insurgents are the Bazar-e-Shakh area in Qaisar district – a key arms sales base – Khowja Katni and the Bazar-e-Qaraye in Almar district.
This comes after Dostum cleared the areas. Previously the Taliban had controlled Bazar-e-Shakh for three years, Khowja Katni for several months and Bazar-e-Qaraye for a month.
“Many of our districts are on the edge of collapse, and in Qaisar district only the center is under the control of government. All the villages in those areas which were cleared by Gen. Dostum have now once again collapsed to the hands of the Taliban,” said Fawzia Raoufi an MP.
“If our suggestion is approved by the National Security Council, which is to give forces all the equipment they need, then we can maintain the areas properly,” said Abdul Satar Bariz Faryab acting-governor.
One of the major questions however is why are areas that have been cleared of insurgents through large-scale military operations, great losses and at a high cost, once again collapsing to the Taliban.
Some officials believe that the security institutions especially the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior do not have clear strategies for maintenance in these parts.
“The National Unity Government is resolute in maintaining the achievements and those who want to stand against those achievements or want to create fear and terror will be suppressed,” Minister of Interior Affairs Noorulhaq Olomi said.
There are reports however that the Taliban in Faryab have returned stronger, more violent and are harassing people in the area.
Faryab is not however, the only province under threat. Kunar, Paktia and Sar-e-Pul provinces are also experiencing heavy clashes.
Previously the defense ministry said that the insurgents this season have put all their efforts into taking control of a number of provinces but that they are running out of steam.