Taliban Controls 52% of Territory in Afghanistan: Survey

A survey by an Afghan news agency shows that the Taliban controls at least 52 percent of the country’s territory while 59 percent of the population lives in areas under the government’s control.

The survey conducted by Pajhwok Afghan News shows that the Afghan government controls 46 percent of the territory.

The survey was conducted between November 30 to February 3.

During the survey, 1,266 people were interviewed through questionnaires and telephonic conversations. The questionnaires, three papers in total, were distributed to three people in each part of the country.

The survey shows that the areas under the Taliban control are 337,000 square kilometers while the areas under the government’s control are 297,000 square kilometers, but 18,000 square kilometers is said to be under the control of none of the parties.

The findings reveal that the Taliban has full control over 27 districts while the government fully controls 64 districts. The remaining 297 districts are controlled by both, the survey indicates.

A Taliban spokesman has claimed in this survey that they control or have influence over 70 percent of the country’s territory, but a spokesman for the Interior Affairs Ministry has said that the Taliban does not have permanent presence in any part of the country.

The claim by the Taliban was rejected by National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib at a weekly briefing on Saturday.

“The Taliban claims to have control over 70 percent of the territory, but even today, they convene their meetings in Quetta (in Pakistan) where they make plan how to kill the people of Afghanistan and destroy the gains that we have achieved and destroy our infrastructures,” Mohib said.

“In 422 districts of which, 24 are temporary, we interviewed three people in each district to find out their perspectives and find who controls or has influence on how many swaths of land,” head of Pajhwok Afghan News Danish Karokhel said.