Residents of a remote village in Dand Aw Patan district in the eastern Paktia province are cooperating with local forces in ensuring their security for the past many years as they said that sometimes they have picked up guns for this purpose.
Dand Aw Patan district is located along the Durand Line, the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and sometimes the area witnesses tensions between border forces of the two countries and that is when the residents pick up guns and take part in the crackdowns.
The Astia village in Dand Aw Patan with around 200 families lies along the Durand Line from where the border fences and Pakistani military installation on the other side of the line is visible.
The residents of the village hold regular unofficial meetings with the local security forces in open space, in afternoons, to talk about the security of the village and its surrounding areas.
“Children, youths and elders all are ready to sacrifice their lives for maintaining the security of our country,” said Mohammad Amir, 60, a resident of Astia village.
The residents said that sometimes they have confronted Pakistani border forces in order to safeguard their village and support Afghan security forces in maintaining security.
“The residents are standing against incidents together and resolve any problems together,” said Juma Din, a resident of the village.
Security forces stationed in Dand Aw Patan said the Astia village has better security compared with other villages in the district.
Jalal Sarhadi, member of the Afghan Border Police, said he has had missions in different parts of Paktia but according to him, maintaining security in Astia village is easy compared with other remote parts in the province.
“I have not seen the empathy, love and the cooperation that they have with us in anywhere else and all these make me very emotional,” said Sarhadi.