MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Provincial Council chairman for northern Balkh province, Mohammad Afzal Hadid, on Wednesday expressed concern that most of those arrested over alleged links with Daesh or Islamic State group were educated youth.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Hadid said security forces had arrested more than 40 people in Mazar-i-Sharif over the past two months on suspicion of having links with Daesh.
He added that recent insecurity and fighting had made it difficult to determine the government’s opponents as it was not known who were lined to Daesh and who were linked to the Taliban or other armed groups.
The public representative said more than 40 people had been arrested in the last two months of last solar year in Balkh province for collaborating with ISIS.
“In the last two months, some family members from Balkh came to the council and brought petitions to us about their detained children, but when we shared the matter with the security authorities, we were told that “Unfortunately, these people have links to ISIS.”
The Balkh provincial council chief expressed concern that the majority of those arrested were educated young men and university students.
According to Hadid, the suspects were arrested in Dehdad and Nahr-e-Shahi districts and Mazar-i-Sharif. He added: “This is a wake-up call for the younger generation. Unfortunately, those who need to do good to the community instead resort to bombings and suicide attacks, I think if the situation is not brought under control, it will become a major headache for Afghanistan in the future.”
He added that besides the Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Central Asian militants and other foreign fighters were still fighting against the Afghan government.
According to him, the current year will be very dangerous for the Afghan security forces and the Afghan people in terms of war. He added that even if the Taliban made peace, the security forces would continue to fight other armed groups.
However, Hadid was optimistic about an international meeting on Afghanistan in Turkey, saying if the Istanbul conference was held successfully, there was great hope that the war in Afghanistan would end and stability would be restored.
Responding to a question, the Balkh provincial council chief said they had not yet received a convincing answer about the abduction of a nine-year-old boy from Mazar-i-Sharif.
He said he last met the director of national security about a month ago, along with other members of the provincial council, and they promised at the time that Abdul Rauf would be freed in two days.
“How and why this child was abducted, unfortunately, I still have no answer to tell you, but I can say that there are some big hands behind this case,” Hadid said.