MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): A number of public representatives and civil society activists in northern Balkh province on Saturday extended their conditional support to the Security Charter program.
The plan has been under implementation in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, since last two weeks.
Some provincial representatives consider the plan as effective for security of the province, but others have doubts about it.
Balkh political and civil society activists say the Security Charter plan should be implemented in a uniform manner and the focus should be on training and capacity building of the Afghan forces.
Gul Rahman Hamdard, a lawmaker from Balkh province, said that he had read the plan and it could be effective for security and public order if implemented.
He said there were groups in Balkh who extorted people on a daily basis since last two decades.
“Thousands of acres of land has been grabbed in Mazar-i-Sharif city and other parts of the province, civilians are tortured by illegal armed men on a daily basis, people hope the criminals would be punished,” he said.
In response to a question, he said that no special unit was created for implementation of Security Charter plan.
Hamdard asked people to cooperate with the government in implementation of the plan.
However, Mohamamd Amin Dara-i-Sufi, a member of Balkh provincial council, did not trust the plan and said he did not believe it would help improve security.
“Presence of illegal armed men in Mazar-i-Sharif is a serious challenge for security of the city but the government has failed to control them”, he said.
“Dozens of public uprising members and local policemen have taken refuge in Mazar-i-Sharif city after security situation worsened in districts, but the government is doing nothing to stop them,” he said.
Security situation of Mazar-i-Sharif city has worsened more than ever and practical steps are needed to reverse the tide, he added.
Political and civil society activists say that more focus should be paid on the capacity building of security forces during implementation of the Security Charter plan.
Ghulam Rassoul, a political activist in Mazar-i-Sharif, said that 10 days had passed since the beginning of the plan, but no improvement was seen in the security of the city.
He feared there may be some plans for creation of militia groups under the guise of the plan.
“Security Charter is a good plan, but we are worried that once again we may see militia groups who would torture the public,” he said.
He said more focus should be paid to the training of security forces for their capacity building during the implementation of the plan.
However, Balkh governor’s spokesman, Munir Farhad, said that disarming illegal armed men, controlling law violations and bringing order were the salient features of the plan.
He said no people would be armed based on the plan and rumours in this regard were false.