Sun, Oct 14, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Afghan leader prefers to fight Taliban his own way

AFP, PULI ALAM, Afghanistan

Lieutenant Colonel James Wright, commander of 1st Squadron (Airborne) 91st Cavalry Regiment, the US force currently stationed in Logar, said local police were a necessity.

“Frankly, they’re at the point now where they flat out have to do it. They’ve come to their senses that something is better than nothing,” he said, adding that the Kolangar uprising and the ALP program were at least seen as “mutually supportive.”

“They would either be recruits or help augment what’s going on with it,” he said.

However, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said: “We have no plans to incorporate the uprisings into the ALP. They are by the people and the people are leading it.”

NATO is trying to build trust in the Afghan government through adviser programs that target policing and the court system, but when it comes to the release of suspected insurgents, Akbari may have a point.

Of about 70 people detained by NATO and handed over to Afghan investigators in the province over the past six months, only six cases have gone to trial, said Navy Lieutenant Anthony Sham, part of a two-man rule-of-law team based near Puli Alam.

There have been no convictions.

“There’s a lot of things we see in the Afghan system that we deem as corrupt and sometimes they deem as cultural,” Sham said.

“One of the big things we see in Logar is not necessarily payment to get somebody out of jail, but people vouching for each other, somebody in a position of leadership saying: ‘No, this detainee is a good person.’”

Having lost faith in the government, Akbari prefers to tackle the Taliban himself and he said he had heard of three other areas of Logar where people were preparing to rise up.

“We are not against Islam, we are against those who misuse Islam for their own benefit and terrorize people,” he said.

“The area is now cleared. We are also helping young boys who study and get brainwashed in Taliban madrasahs to come and study in our schools,” he added.

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