1,500 Public Force Members in Place to Defend Balkh

Balkh governor Mohammad Farhad Azimi said on Thursday that of the 5,000 fighters that were pledged by political leaders and other influential figures in Balkh as part of the public uprising forces, 1,500 have already been deployed in fighting positions to face the Taliban alongside security forces.

Azimi said that the political leaders have not managed to mobilize the entire number of fighters that were pledged to fight the insurgents.

According to Azimi, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) has prepared the list of those who are expected to fight alongside the Afghan National Security and Defense Force (ANDSF).

The government will equip members of the public uprising force with weapons, and they will get paid 10,000 Afs a month.

“5,000 fighters were mobilized, from which 1,500 were deployed along with security forces. The rest are waiting for equipment and weapons. They will also contribute to pushing back the enemy’s activities in close coordination with the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said Azimi.

Meanwhile, the head of the Balkh provincial council said that in the past some elements misused the public uprising forces, and said that the same problem will be repeated if the public uprising forces are not led in the right way.

“One of the key reasons that led to the collapse of the district was that some people pledged to mobilize 100 fighters, but later on 20 of them were used in the right way, the remaining 80 were misused or they weren’t present at the job,” said Afzal Hadid, the head of Balkh provincial council.

The mobilization of public uprising forces has raised hopes over efforts to prevent the infiltration of the Taliban in the provinces.

“These fighters should be controlled so they do not get involved in armed robberies, taking revenge and committing other crimes,” said Abdul Hamid Sefwat, the head of Balkh Civil Society Union.

Local officials in Balkh have said that members of public uprising forces have been deployed in the defensive lines around Mazar-e-Sharif city and other districts.

Some commanders of the public uprising forces have said they are ready to participate in the clearance operations in areas under Taliban control if the government permits them to do so.