Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 15th, 2021

IDP’s Face Double Trouble

As a consequence of the troops surge in Afghanistan, operations launched by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) against the militant Taliban have been intensified. These operations have been successful to a certain extent but at the same time they have given rise to the problem of Internally Displaced People (IDP). With the intensity in anti-terror operations in the populated areas, there has been considerable increase in the number of people who flee their houses and try to find refuge in the neighboring areas. According to a recent report of Refugees International about 250,000 have been displaced as a result of last two years war in the country.

Only in the first half of the ongoing year, 91,000 Afghans were forced to leave their homes because of fear of losing their lives. This number is marked with twofold increase over the number during the same period, last year. Only in Faryab province, 22,000 individuals have been displaced as a result of the operations by ISAF and ANSF against Taliban. The numbers depicted in this report are alarming as the phenomenon of displacement gives birth to many other social evils.

Another major concern, depicted by the report is relevant to the attitude of Afghan Local Police (ALP). ALP is reported to be involved in the maltreatment of the displaced people, who are already suffering from miserable plight. The allegations against ALP include murder, theft and intimidation. These allegations by Refugees International are not first of their type. Earlier United Nations, Oxfam International and other non-governmental organizations also alleged ALP of great misconduct. They are reported to be involved in kidnapping and collecting of their own "Islamic tax". Expecting something favorable from them regarding the assistance of common people or IDP's is a fool's errand. But ISAF leadership seems to favor ALP. General David Petraeus himself has been a great propagator of ALP program. In his point of view the ALP members are regularly vetted by shura's, which consist of the representatives of the people.

Definitely, the difficulties suffered by IDP's are real and they require proper attention. The security forces before launching their aggressive operations in populated areas must keep the issue of IDP's in consideration and must make their return sure after the circumstances are normalized. Unfortunately, the current trend of displacement seems very much irreversible because of the concerns of the people regarding the consistency of peace and tranquility. In addition, proper heed should be paid to the growing concerns regarding the attitude of ALP. This particular program has been funded much recently and has been designed to eliminate the troubles of the people; it must, in no way, turn troublesome itself.