Kandahar May Fall to Taliban Because of Poor Leadership: MPs

Lawmakers from Kandahar and Helmand provinces in Afghanistan’s House of Representatives on Wednesday said that internal rifts between local officials, the poor management of jobs, and the local authorities’ pursuit of personal business has pushed Kandahar to the verge of falling to the Taliban.

The lawmakers said that the war has now reached the doorstep of the city, adding that the Kandahar governor, the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) for Kandahar and the police chief have failed to correct the situation.

According to the lawmakers, a lack of coordination between government forces and a lack of effort by political leaders, including former President Hamid Karzai, to settle tribal issues in the province have also been key factors in the growing unrest.

Dand, Arghandab, Zhari and Panjwai districts in Kandahar have witnessed growing threats over the past few months.

“The current political and security situation in Kandahar is complicated,” said Karim Atal, an MP from Kandahar.

“If the war continues on the same scale, there is the possibility that Kandahar will collapse,” said MP Gul Ahmad Kamin.

“We expected (former) President Karzai to play a role in promoting tribal harmony in Kandahar,” said a civil society activist in Kandahar Naweed Ahmad Sayedi.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are struggling to repel the Taliban’s attacks in these districts.

“Large swaths of lands were cleared from Taliban in Maiwand, Arghandab and Zhari districts—massive casualties were inflicted on the Taliban, including (the elimination) of hundreds of foreigners,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a defense ministry spokesman.

In recent months, the Afghan Chief of Army Staff made a handful of trips to the war fronts in Kandahar to monitor the campaign against the Taliban; however, the scale of war continues to grip several districts in the province.