Under the Taliban’s Shadow; What Goes on in Parwan’s Siahgard?

Taliban insurgents stormed Siahgard and Shinwari districts of Parwan province on Friday night, June 25. Siahgard district is still under Taliban control, but security forces and popular uprisings recaptured Shinwari district a week later.

Security forces have launched several operations in the past few days to retake Siahgard district, but the Taliban still control the district. Parwan security officials say the Taliban have barricaded themselves in residential houses and the operation to retake the district has been protracted. Parwan security officials are working to remove the district from Taliban control without any casualties.

Residents of the two districts are fed up with the Taliban’s oppression and have taken refuge. The province’s Directorate of Refugees and Returnees says more than 1,000 families have been displaced from the Ghorband Valley to central Parwan and a number of other areas following the fighting.

“When the Taliban took control of the district, they ransacked the district, set fire to government vehicles, destroyed government buildings and left nothing to be used,” said Simaullah, a resident of Siahgard. According to him, the Taliban threatened the people to give halve of all their wealth with this group. He says when the Taliban entered the district bazaar, they ransacked all the shops there and in some cases even set fire to the shops and threatened to kill them if they protested.

Meanwhile, Waisuddin Hilal, a resident of Shinwari district, recounted the Taliban’s war and fear, saying that the Taliban had threatened to kill all the people, the Taliban did not set fire to any place in the district, but did not allow people to open their shops. “We became immigrants,” he added. “The Taliban barricaded our homes and encouraged young people to take up arms and fight against government forces.”

How did the Taliban overthrow Shinwari and Siahgard districts?

Shinwari and Siahgard districts in Ghorband valley of Parwan province are one of the most vulnerable areas in the northern part of Kabul. Abdul Zahir Salangi, a representative of the people of Parwan in the House of Representatives, told 8 Subh that the Taliban, with more than a thousand people, launched their attacks in Siahgard and Shinwari districts and were able to take control of those districts. According to him, the Taliban who took control of these districts are local and the operation to retake these districts needs more planning. Parwan Governor Fazluddin Ayar said they were trying to target Taliban gatherings first with airstrikes and then launch a recapture operation in Siahgard district.

Displaced: Our problems have not been addressed

Recent violence and clashes in Siahgard and Shinwari districts of Parwan province have displaced hundreds of families. The Directorate of Refugees and Repatriations of Parwan Province says that in the days of war and violence in Siahgard and Shinwari districts, more than 500 families have been displaced to Charikar city. Abdul Waheed Karimi, the province’s director of refugee and returnee, said they had set up aid tents for war displaced people in central Parwan.

“We do not have any problems at the moment and we are trying to do everything possible to solve the displaced problems caused by the war,” Karimi added. “Health teams, emergency teams and other aid agencies are practically present in the area to identify the problems of the displaced.”

Although officials from the Parwan Refugee and Returnee Directorate say there are no problems in dealing with displaced people from the war and the violence in Ghorband, the IDPs complain about the way the aid is being provided and say that they are living in misery in the Gulghondi area.

Waisuddin Emami, a displaced person from Ghorband Valley, told 8 Subh that they have many problems and since the day they came to Parwan center, only the governor and a number of officials have visited their situation and problems, but their problems have not been addressed yet.

Thousands of families have been displaced by the unprecedented spread of war in the country. Takhar, Kunduz, Badakhshan and Baghlan are among the provinces with the highest number of war refugees.