AFGHANISTAN. Herat: For the past weeks over 30 districts were captured by the Taliban. According to the officials, some districts were captured without resistance, some after heavy clashes, and some were evacuated by security forces. Afghanistan’s government has made new appointments in leadership to improve the country’s defense.
President brought changes in key ministries such as the Interior and Defense. However, the fight increases significantly which made the government ask people to voluntarily take up arms against the Taliban.
New Defense Minister General Besmellah Khan Mohammadi, a former Ahmad Sha Masoud commander told people, “Stand and mobilize alongside security forces. The government will provide military equipment for people.”
Taliban reach outskirts of major cities
The clashes have been heavy for the past weeks and has reached five cities in the north as many districts around provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in the last few weeks, mostly in Faryab and Takhar provinces. According to security sources, most of Kunduz districts also fell to the Taliban.
Just recently Taliban captured the Sherkhan trading port between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. A key military outpost of the Afghan army.
Days ago, the Taliban reached the gate of Mazar-e-Sharif city of Balkh province, one of the major provinces in the north of Afghanistan, after capturing 7 districts of the province. Ata Muhammad Noor, representative of the Jamiat Islami party in Balkh asked other political parties to mobilize their forces for defending the country.
He also told the government to provide the necessary equipment for people to mobilize against the Taliban.
Meanwhile, Balkh governor Farhad Azimi said that former mujahideen commanders have been mobilized to fight against the Taliban in the province following the fall of the centers of five districts of Balkh to the group.
“Thousands of forces have been prepared to defend the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif, and the districts that have been lost,” Azimi said.
Sources say that 13 districts in eight provinces in the south, north, and central area of Afghanistan have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.
Citizens in some provinces including Takhar, Balkh, Jawzjan, Faryab, Kapisa, Takhar, and Baghlan in the north, Badghis in the west, and Parwan in central Afghanistan, have taken up arms to fight the Taliban amid an escalation of violence by the group.
“We will never allow the Punjabis, the puppets, to threaten this country,” said Abdul Bashir, the deputy commander of a special forces unit in Takhar.
According to a member of the parliaments, the support of neighboring countries for the Taliban is one of the reasons behind an escalation of violence in the country
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) yesterday reported it had arrested a Pakistani army officer in Paktia province, where the Taliban captured some districts.
“There are countries that want to cause Afghanistan’s system to collapse so they can divide it into different countries and merge it with their own country,” said Shinkai Karokhil, a member of parliament from Kabul.
The back-to-back fall of districts to the Taliban in the last two months has been unprecedented. Most of the districts that have fallen to the Taliban in the past week have been in the north. Afghanistan although frequently reports having retaken some fallen districts.
Taliban spokesman Dr. Naeem Tweeted, “For some time now, the joining of large and various regions with the Mojahedin (Taliban fighters) without any resistance or noticeable losses, shows some of the characteristics and realities of the Mojahedin: Extensive popular roots, love and deep sincerity of the nation with the Mojahedin. High level of trust and confidence in the Mojahedin.”
Recently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Taliban can not Win over the whole of Afghanistan. “In the past, Pakistan made a mistake by choosing between warring Afghan parties.”