A number of security force members and local officials in Logar province – at least 80 kilometers to the southwest of Kabul – criticized government over lack of weapons and equipment in the remote Azra district.
The security forces claimed that “they are not receiving assistance from the central government in many cases when they come under Taliban attacks”.
The district has four ways, residents said, adding that all the routes are closed to traffic over the past 13 years.
“Our weapons are not operating properly. Taliban has everything; but we don’t,” said Noorullah, a security force member in the district.
“The highway (from Logar to Kabul) is the main problem for us. Military personnel cannot travel to Kabul by this road. At least 40 soldiers were killed on this road in the past two years,” said Noor Jahan, Intelligence Officer of Afghan Local Police in Azra.
According to Azra residents and provincial council members, government has control over the center of the district and four of its villages.
“We don’t have roads, tanks, airplanes here. Why is government so careless about the district?” asked Noor Mohammad, a resident of the district.
“Security is quit complicated in the (Azra) district. Sometimes it becomes as much insecure as its issue arrives at the Presidential Palace,” said Abdul Wali Wakil, member of Logar Provincial Council.
Logar police said they are committed to addressing the residents’ problems in the near future.
“Security forces have been ordered to address the residents’ problems in the near future,” Azra Police Chief Esmatullah Alizai said.
Azra is located along the Durand Line – the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The district governor Abdul Hameed Hameed said there is no Border Police Force member in the district despite that is located in a bordering region.
“Azra looks like the Guantanamo (Bay). It is surrounded by snow in winters and by the Taliban in summers,” Hameed said.
Meanwhile, the acting defense minister Tariq Shah Bahrami who visited the district on Thursday said he will bring changes in military institutions in Azra in the near future.
“I will share your demands with leaders in Kabul. I am committed to fulfilling my responsibility and you will see the results soon,” Bahrami told a gathering in the district.
Reports indicate that besides insecurity, Azra is affected by lack of healthcare services – which has left many soldiers dead after being injured in militant attacks.