Last year, the residents of Garmser district of Helmand province chopped off the ears of a man accused of planting an IED or a roadside bomb that resulted in the deaths of two children and injury of 6 people including three other children. The move was appreciated and deemed important in defeating the Taliban and other groups of insurgents. This year, the people in Andar district of Ghazni province have stood firmly against the Afghan and foreign militants.
After losing the hope that the Karzai government would clean their district of insurgents, the people – on their own – fought the Taliban and their foreign friends. Violence, bombings and mass poisonings - mostly affecting girls - that make school attendance impossible; threats and kidnappings meant to drive away doctors and engineers; and obstruction of reconstruction projects are among the causes that have driven desperate Afghans to rise up. According to provincial spokesman, around 70 militants have been killed by the people and scores of villages have been freed. The uprising of local people against Taliban militants in Andar district has led to reopening of schools in that district.
The uprising of people in Andar district is a model movement for all Afghanistan, especially the people in southern and other provinces where Taliban have been restricting freedom of the life of the people. As we will move ahead, Afghans will have to defend their country on their own. By the end of 2014, all the security responsibilities of Afghanistan will fall into the hands of its own security forces. The success of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) would not be possible to accomplish until and unless all the Afghan ethnic groups stop supporting the insurgents and providing them safe havens.
In Afghan society, it is very difficult for security forces to recognize the insurgents who hide among civilian population wearing clothing similar to that of local people. It is the common Afghans who have better knowledge about people activities in their districts. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every Afghan to report suspicious people and movements to ANSF. At the same time, the public uprising against militants such as the one by the people of Andar district must be backed and encouraged by the Afghan government. Also, programs aimed at opening the minds of people to let them better distinguish between their enemy and friend should be bolstered.