Nangarhar was considered one of the country’s most secure provinces until a few years back. In addition to the capital of this eastern province, many of its districts were safer than other areas of the country. Although located on the border with Pakistan -- the Taliban’s main backer, the militants were not able to gain as much foothold as in other provinces. After 2014 when reports of Daesh’s emergence in the province surfaced, the security situation in the province has been deteriorating. Besides districts, now Jalalabad as one of the country’s major population centers is faced with serious security challenges.
Two things simultaneously threaten Nangarhar security. The insurgents – both Taliban and Daesh – on the one hand, and irresponsible armed men and mafia networks on the other hand have turned the province into a hell for its residents. Militant activities are not limited to only this province; it is a common issue across the country, which the government has unfortunately failed to tackle. If the government has strong will, it can curb the issue of irresponsible armed men and racketeers with its existing resources. If the government clears the path for fight against corruption and proper utilization of existing potential by purging regional administrations of mafia, it can confront at least this menace.
The cause of the recent spate of violence and insecurity in Jalalabad is irresponsible gunmen and mafia networks. Doctors in Jalalabad have gone on strike for the last few days, saying they are threatened. They claim that two doctors have been killed, a number of them have been kidnapped, and tens more have been intimidated over the last six months for refusing to pay money to racketeers. The striking doctors have given the government ten days to take concrete actions for their security, or else they will quit their jobs.
The government may fabricate pretexts for the continuation of militant activities, yet it cannot find any justification for the threats faced by doctors in Jalalabad city. Despite the complaints of doctors, the central government unfortunately has not taken satisfactory measures, and paid keen attention to issue. The government has to pay undivided attention to the life threats faced by doctors, and not allow this class, which is needed more than ever in the society given the country’s critical situation to suspend their operation.