The persistent puzzle of Daesh activities in eastern Afghanistan

Monday, 19 June 2017 02:59 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 169 times

Though the Afghan government and its western allies have repeatedly claimed to have defeated Daesh or the Islami State (IS) terrorists in east of the country, the terror group has remained a great threat, and it is increasingly becoming stronger. 

 

The terrorist outfit against which the United States used its largest non-nuclear bomb also known as the mother of all bombs in Nangarhar’s Achin district under the pretext of destroying its underground tunnel network has now captured Tora Bora, a former strong hideout of Al-Qaeda in a mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan. 

A number of lawmakers and analysts say the statements of government officials about the activities of Daesh in the east were not based on facts, and the group has not been subdued as necessary. 

Hajji Zahir Qadir, a lawmaker from Nangarhar, told the legislators last Wednesday that the number of Daesh fighters in Nangarhar has reached several thousands, and that they were supplied with weapons from air; however, the government still estimated the number of Daesh fighters at five or six hundred. 

Qadir said while Daesh terrorists have taken control of Chaparhar and several other districts of Shinwar and the strategic Tora Bora area, the government has not yet shown any military reaction to them. 

Similarly, Hajji Hazrat Ali, another public representative from Nangarhar, said the expansion of Daesh in Nangarhar was a great game, for which the government should give explanation to the public. 

Farid Ahmad Shinwari, a civil activist in Nangarhar, said the government’s failure to respond to public concerns has created new doubts among people. 

Daesh was expanding day by day, he told The Heart of Asia, adding that it first emerged in Achin, then started activities in Kot district, and today it was active in Chaparhar district and all districts of Shinwar, and had thousands of fighters. 

According to him, the government did not back local people when they rose against Daesh terrorists several times, thereby dissuading the people to take up arms against the terrorists. 

Nawid Naseri, a political expert, claimed that Americans had “short-term and long-term projects in Afghanistan through which they can threaten the regional countries, and Daesh was one of those projects”. "Government officials were aware of the game started under the name of Daesh, but they cannot raise their voice so that they don’t lose American support.” 

Meanwhile, a number of tribal elders from Nangarhar said it was expected that Daesh would be eliminated as a result of the use of Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) by the US, but the reality was otherwise, and the number of Daesh fighters has increased several folds. 

A tribal elder from Achin district, who did not want to be named, told The Heart of Asia: "No Daesh fighter was killed in the area targeted by the mother of all bombs. It was just a drama, and the incident paved the way for a multifold increase in the number of terrorists in the area. Now people believe that Daesh and Americans are enemies, so some of them join Daesh.”

The Nangarhar’s Governor’s press office, however, claimed that sweeping operation against Daesh fighters was underway in the area and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have retaken many areas they had lately lost to Daesh. 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 19 June 2017 03:10