Residents of the northeastern Badakhshan province claimed that government does not have the will to retake Wardooj district from the Taliban after it fell to the insurgent group in 2015.
The residents said they will take measures to retake the district if government remains unmoved in this respect.
“Government has done nothing for us. It vows to come to the district, but it has never paid attention to it. It is two and a half years that government has promised but has not delivered its commitment. If it has the power, it should come and retake the district and we will support the government forces,” said Juma Khan, a resident of the district.
“Taliban’s activities have no connection with religion. We condemn the moves by this barbaric group as they are trying to tarnish the image of Islam by their barbaric acts,” said Mawlawi Feda, an Imam at a local mosque in Wardooj.
Meanwhile, Wardooj district governor Dawlat Mohammad said other districts will be under threat next year if government does not retake the district ahead of the upcoming winter.
“The (Wardooj) district fell to the Taliban in fall of 1394 (2015). All the documents and offices and everything which were kept and saved in past 20 years were destroyed and looted. There is no document in the district governor’s office now. Meanwhile, the district police headquarters’ building has been destroyed. In one word, all has been looted from government buildings in Wardooj district,” he said.
Security forces in Baharak district in the neighboring of Wardooj said they are in a defensive mode in the area.
“The area is under the threat of the enemy from 6pm in evening to 4am in morning. We have extremely high morale to fight against the enemy,” said Rawzatullah, an army officer.
Badakhshan governor Ahmad Faisal Begzad said the presence of the Taliban will threat other parts of the province if Wardooj was not cleared of the militant group.
He said “retaking of Wardooj will not be possible unless government sends reinforcements and air support”.
Badakhshan has 27 districts from which Yumgan and Wardooj are under the control of the Taliban. Insurgents are active in 11 other districts in the province, officials said.