First Vice-President General Abdul Rashid Dostum on Sunday said the ongoing insurgency being waged in northern parts of Afghanistan is led first and foremost by foreign militants, rather than Afghan Taliban. He also shared his confidence that a new push by the Afghan security forces would be able to stabilize the north.
According to Gen. Dostum, himself a famous mujahideen leader from northern Afghanistan, foreign insurgents have infiltrated the northern provinces from other Central Asian countries and even China in hopes of destabilizing the region.
"Foreigners are commanding them [the Taliban]; it means that the opponents belong to Daesh from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China and Chechenia," Gen. Dostum said. "They coordinate war, suicide attacks and other activities. They want to infiltrate in Central Asia."
Previously, Gen. Dostum issued an ultimatum to Taliban militants in Faryab province, warning them that they would have two days time to either join the government or face serious repercussions. On Sunday he said government forces are ready to confront the militants with full force.
There have been some reports about the building up of militia forces in northern provinces, led by former mujahideen leaders and present bigwigs, like Dostum, who would rather fight off militants on their own then let territory fall into their hands because the security forces cannot hold their ground alone.
But, on Sunday, Gen. Dostum rejected the idea that there was any need for local militias to fight the insurgency in northern Afghanistan. "Why should we need the militias?" he asked. "Currently, we are working together with the police and the army, so why must we form a militia force?"
Although the First Vice President says he now has the full backing of the government in combating the northern militant advance, he has suggested that was not always the case. According to Dostum, if he had the resources now available to him four months ago, then the security situation in the north would be much better than it is now.