Ata M. Noor, the Balkh governor and the chief executive of Hezb-e Jamiat Islami, who is now a prominent critic of the central government, in his latest remarks.
In the past few years, a number of Afghanistan’s Northern provinces have occasionally witnessed insecurities, but never as insecure as south and west of country. The war in Northern provinces like Kunduz, Sar-e Pul, Jawzjan, Baghlan, Faryab and even Badakhshan has sieged Balkh province and there are even clashes in different parts of the province.
Why Balkh province is important?
Over the past one and half year, Balkh province has been relatively safe. The image of this province has also changed, and high buildings, concrete highways, numerous hospitals, educational centers and many other things, indicate urbanization, a relatively advanced province in north of Afghanistan.
But what brought this province in headlines, is something else. The spread of insecurity around the province and changing to a base against the policies of the central government, are important cases that put the province in headlines.
Balkh has maintained its security and political stability for several years, but as it seems, the insecurities not only spread in northern part of Afghanistan but also penetrated in the province. According to political analysts and Ata M. Noor Balkh governor, this province has become unsafe due to being a base against Arg’s “monopolism” policies.
Ata M. Noor, the Balkh governor and the chief executive of Hezb-e Jamiat Islami, who is now a prominent critic of the central government, in his latest remarks, said the siege of Balkh provincial authority, is “tightening” everyday due to cooperation between the central government and international forces.
The situation of north and the ring of threat as Mr. Noor said, has become much tighter. Apart from a wide presence in Kunduz province, the armed oppositions now has a permanent base in Baghlan’s “Dahana Ghori” while Sar-e Pul’s “Mirza Olang” village has changed to another base for the armed oppositions. Four days ago, another large region of this province called “Tebar” where more than 5,000 families are living there, was handed over to Taliban by a popular uprising commander. Besides, IS fighters have advanced in Jawzjan and Faryab by finding safe havens in the two provinces that made the situation more dangerous for Balkh province.
What is ARG looking for?
If we accept the theory that Arg palace has a hand in tightening the ring of war and making Balkh unsafe, then, it does so for three reasons.
First: Arg palace intends to put pressure on its political opponents by making this province unsafe, because it has changed to a base for its oppositions.
Second: using armed oppositions to punish its political oppositions. The Afghan national security council appoint special individuals in northern local positions that are close to their policies.
Third: keeping people frightened by distorting public opinions, so that they do not understand the confrontation of the cetral government with its political opponents.
War in all countries, has internal factors before external ones. Internal factors involve other countries in the civil war that gradually change to a complicated issue. The people always pay the price of divisive policies. Only in the past several months, dozens of civilians were killed in north of the country due to insecurities and thousands families have been displaced, living in critical conditions away from home in the winter.
Mahdi Sarbaz – (DID) news agency
Translated by Taher Mojab