BALKH: Local officials say all villages of Darzab district of northern Jawzjan province have been under the Taliban control for the last one year and administrative affairs of the district are being performed from Sheberghan city, the provincial capital.
Darzab district chief Eng. Ahmad said that no official could travel to the district and had to perform their jobs from the Sheberghan city due to the high presence of the Taliban insurgents in the area. The district chief and police chief along with all of their personnel are shifted to the provincial capital, he admitted.
Ahmad acknowledged local people were at trouble referring their formal works to the provincial capital, saying they could not return to the district center due to security threats.
A hundred Taliban insurgents are active in Darzab
Jawzjan police chief, Abdul Wahid Wijdan, said that Darzab district fell to the Taliban about a year ago. In response to a question about the number of Taliban militants who operate in the district, he said, “Over a hundred Taliban rebels are present in Darzab.”
Despite the number of rebels was limited in the district, but other insurgents of the group in the region came to their help whenever Afghan forces launched an operation, he confirmed.
“A number of foreign insurgents are present in the district as well who provide military training to the Afghan Taliban,” he added, providing no exact figures of foreign rebels.
He said that foreign militants belonged to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Darzab shares a border with another volatile district, Qosh Tapa, where the Taliban have a similarly high influence.
Seminaries in Darzab being used as military training centers for children
Abdul Wahid Wijdan said that foreign insurgents in Darzab provided military training to children and teenagers in Madrassas. “Darzab is now a safe haven for the Taliban.”
Citing an example, he said that Albukhari Madrasa was one of the Islamic centers of the kind in Mughul village of the district, where, he claimed, children received a military education. More than 50 children and teenagers undergo training in this seminary before they join the battle alongside the Taliban, he added.
War a source of backwardness and unemployment for youths
Rahmatullah Hashar, a tribal elder from the Darzab district, said that clashes and violence have created huge problems for the local people.
He said that continued violence in the district caused youths to stay away from education and thus fail to find any jobs. People are tired of war and they cannot bear it any longer; all economic, cultural and social activities are paralyzed.
Saif Rahman, another resident of the district, also complained of problems created by violence in their region and said that people in their area long dreamed of starting and witnessing a peaceful life.
Darzab is 160 kilometers far from Sheberghan city and has 60 villages where 20,000 families reside.