Amid questions over the formation of public uprising forces and doubts about their capability, sources from within these fighters' ranks said on Sunday that they are struggling with a lack of military equipment to fight against the Taliban.
They said they have repeatedly asked the government’s high-ranking officials to provide military equipment and weapons to the forces, but their requests have not been heard so far.
While dozens of fighters have pledged loyalty to former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum in the northern provinces against the Taliban, an aide to Dostum said that the government has not met its commitment to support the public uprising forces.
“We contacted them repeatedly. We asked senior security authorities, including the defense minister, the national security adviser, the NDS chief and the interior minister from the address of the High Council for National Reconciliation and the parliament, but unfortunately, they are not paying the required attention to equip and supply the public uprising forces,” said Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, a member of the leadership council of Junbish-e-Milli and the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
“These forces will prove effective and the enemy will not succeed if they are not provided more support,” said Murtaza Jalali, a media adviser to Jamiat-e-Islami’s faction led by Ata Mohammad Noor.
Thousands of people have taken up arms in recent weeks in various provinces of the country to fight the Taliban following advances by the group in many provinces. Most of these forces have been formed in northern Afghanistan.
“We are defending our soil. We are defending the people, the flag and this homeland,” said a public uprising forces member.
“We have police, NDS and army forces. They are faced with problems in management. How will we manage those people who have taken up arms to fight the Taliban?” asked Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, a military analyst.
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces spokesman Gen. Ajmal Omar Shinwari confirmed in a briefing with reporters that public uprising forces have not received equipment.
“Weapons and equipment are not handed over to anyone except when they have military training,” he said.