By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: A number of the Wolesi Jirga members have expressed their concern about what they said rising insecurity along the country’s highways and asked the security institutions to take clearance measure as soon as possible.
“The routes, from Kabul to Farah and Herat provinces, is seriously threatened by the Taliban insurgents and the outfit do whatever they want with passengers and drivers on the long route and are involved in extortion, killings and kidnapping of passengers, Arif Rahmani, a member of the House of People said.”
According to him, some of the roads to the east are not closed but are not safe but, now all the highways and roads have become insecure by the Taliban armed men.
The people will lose their trust on the security forces, if they don’t take measure in securing the highways and other transportation routes, Rahmani reiterated.
Shafiqa Sakha, another member of parliament, also criticized poor security forces measures to take security of the highways and said that the continuation of peace talks on one hand and security threats in the provinces, on the other, have gravely concerned the people.
“For instance, the only Maimana-Andkhoy highway since 1997 has been threatened by the Taliban. This group extorts and harasses passengers,” she said.
“Insecurity of the roads leading to the central provinces through Kabul is one of the main challenges for the residents of these areas and it has been raised many times as a demand, but so far not only has it not resulted, but the situation has worsened day by day,” he said.
This is while, the Interior and Defense Ministries officials recently announced improvement of security situations of the highways.
Tariq Arian and Fawad Aman, spokespersons for the interior and defense ministries, assured the operations to ensure the safety of highways, said that securing of the highways is one of the priorities of the security and defense institutions. “We will see a significant improvement in road safety.”
House Speaker, Mir Rahman Rahmani, also expressed concern about the increase in insecurity of the highways and said that the closure of the highways should be focused highly.
He added that the internal security and defense commissions of the House of People are strictly instructed to invite the officials of the security and defense forces and review their plans and report about the ongoing insecurities.
However, some lawmakers expressed strong concern about the Taliban’s control of highways and roads between districts and the cities.
Jawad Dadgar, head of the Independent Human Rights Commission’s regional office in Bamiyan, said the increase in insecurity on the Bamiyan-Kabul highway was gravely concerning, adding that many civilians have so far been killed during insecurity incidents.
“The killing of civilians is a clear indication of the violation of international humanitarian law,” he said adding as expected, the government has not taken effective measures to secure the Kabul-Bamyan highway, and residents of the central areas have always raised their vices and objected to this problem.
He said Taliban and other terrorist groups and irresponsible gunmen have always threatened security of the highways and many civilians have been killed by the Taliban due to threats from the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
The Independent Human Rights Commission asked the central government and security institutions to take the necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the people of the central regions. Earlier this year, the country’s Ministry of Defense assured that clearing highways from the Taliban militants in 1400 and cutting off the group’s revenue sources would be one of its priorities.