Taliban Exploit Junbesh-Jamiat Political Turmoil

Residents in northern province of Faryab Saturday said that the political tumult between Junbesh and Jamiat parties has forced dozens of families to evacuate the area and the Taliban is instead making a new push to exploit the rivalry and gain a foothold in the strategic region.

Jamiat-e-Islami party which is led by minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani has been in confrontation with Junbesh-e-Milli Islami which is led by President Ashraf Ghani’s first VP General Abdul Rashid Dostum. The two parties are among the influential parties in northern Afghanistan.

In the latest development, loyalists to both parties have once again engaged in confrontation in Faryab that left dozens of loyalists of the two parties dead including three civilians, something which has sparked strong reaction among residents about a possible rise of the Taliban.

“Regardless of their political affiliation, those who commit violence and create problems for the people should be dealt with according to the law,” MoI Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

As signs of Taliban’s new efforts, the group operatives reportedly gained control of Almar district in Faryab province.

Amid the controversy, meanwhile, Jamiat and Junbesh officials have escalated their war of words over the ongoing disputes between the two powerful parties with each one of them blaming the opposite side of plotting against the rival.

“Almar problems have roots outside Almar and are backed by the acting governor of Balkh which make us to see such a situation every day, if it was not like that, we were able to resolve the problem at a local level,” spokesman to Junbesh party Bashir Ahmad Tayanj said.

“There is a recorded audio tape of the governor who has called general Farooq and says we are fully prepared to attack you, the Jamiat has the evidence,” Zabi Fitrat spokesman to Jamiat party said.

On the ground, the continued tension between the parties has had a significant impact on business activities as reports disclose that investors have been showing reluctance to invest in the north in the wake of the latest clashes.

Following the escalation of tension, reports from some northern provinces suggest that dozens of families have fled their homes to escape threats.

This comes at a time that the National Unity Government under president Ashraf Ghani and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah had pledged to take robust action against the illegal armed activities in the country, something analysts say that the government leaders failed to do.

“It is regrettable to say that in Afghanistan all political parties and ethnic parties have access to weapons and weapon depots, this is quite perilous to the future of Afghanistan,” political analyst Aziz Rafaee said.

“The weapons in the hands of both sides belong to the ministry of interior, they use heavy weapons during their confrontations, but casualties occur among the civilians, ten or more people are killed during every battle,” senator Gul Mohammad Rasooli said.

Karim Amini, TOLOnews

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