Six months ago, the Taliban were fighting the “American enemy,” but today, with destitution and lack of training, they search cars on the roads, thwart attacks by Islamic State elements, and chase bike thieves.
This was noted by the delegates of the French newspaper “Le Parisien”, Vincent Mongiard and Philippe de Boulbecket, after they spent a day escorting the Afghan police during the era of the Islamic Taliban movement.
Five months after the fall of Kabul, the delegates say that they traveled to the heart of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and for nine days followed the daily lives of these Islamist “fighters” trying to impose order, they met girls who say their dreams were shattered, and they interviewed activists who say they are threatened with death.
And in this the report The delegates say that the commander of the third district in Kabul opened the police headquarters for them and left them closely informed of what his men were doing in the field and inside offices and prisons, and allowed them to meet with police officers, and even accompany them during the performance of their duty.
The delegates say that these men are not distinguished from the rest of the population; They have not received their salaries for several months, which the policeman, Muhammad Sharif, comments on, by saying, “I do not receive a salary at the moment, but God with his generosity feeds me.”
According to the delegates, the building does not look different from the rest of the dilapidated buildings in Kabul, except perhaps by the presence of the new white flag that the Taliban chose for Afghanistan.
This brigade consists of 400 “warriors” under the command of Mullah Fadl-ur-Rahman Al-Zubayr (38 years), an Islamic scholar who spent “16 years learning about religion, and he is the one who allowed us to spend one day in the company of his forces.”
The delegates noted the simplicity of everything there; These men are distinguished from others only by the Kalashnikov rifle, which does not separate from them, or the long beard, which is characteristic of all of them. They also sleep in the police station, where there is also a small mosque, and their financial condition does not differ from the rest of the Afghans.
Although all these men are from Wardak (central country), and some of them are located only tens of kilometers from Kabul, they were unable to visit their relatives, as the policeman Muhammad Sharif – a father of 3 boys and 4 girls says, “I haven’t seen my family for 3 months. “. He indicated that he had no money to visit them.
It is true that our resources are limited, but we are working as much as possible day and night to stop the bombings of the Islamic State and to confront the thieves, killers, kidnappers and the mafia.
Proud to serve my country
The delegates say: When we entered the brigade commander, Mullah Fadl Rahman Al-Zubayr, we had to take off our shoes. First and foremost, I am very proud to serve my country, it is true that our resources are limited, but we are working as much as possible, day and night, to stop the bombings of the Islamic State and to confront the thieves, killers, kidnappers and the mafia.”
Al-Zubayr says that he is not aware – so far – of cutting off the hands of the perpetrators or “hanging them”, and adds regretfully, “Those who deserved this fled abroad,” noting that he supports the application of such punishments if there is anything required, but he warns that there are Gradual punishments, and for petty thefts – for example – it is enough for the owners to throw them in prisons, he said.
As for the most important achievement he has achieved so far, he says, “We have arrested the perpetrators of a kidnapping operation who, under the previous regime, would have imposed a ransom. We have captured them and put them in prison.”
The two delegates say that the prison they saw was not in which there were no major criminals at the time of their visit, and they met a bike thief who says that this is the third time he has been arrested, and that he is being treated well, but the policeman comments on his words by saying, “In the past, it was because of the theft of a motorbike and an attempt to break into shop, and now he is also accused of drug use.”
By escorting these police officers out of their perimeter, delegates say we have become aware of their powers, as a large part of the workforce is assigned to checkpoints, where they order motorists to open windows automatically and search trunks when the slightest suspicion.
Women are not allowed to roam without a mahram within a distance of more than 72 kilometers, and this is also what the police are checking closely. Officer Abdel Qader Ali comments, “When a woman is alone in a taxi, we will interrogate her, ask her about her name, her work, and about her work.” The place where her husband, brother or father is, it’s all for her own good, we want to make sure that she is not harassed, there are a lot of thugs,” he said.
As for the position of the general public, the delegates quoted Alawi, a 70-year-old real estate agent, as saying, “Since the return of these “warriors”, we have felt that someone is protecting us.”
Ali – who is one of Alawi’s clients – says, “I am very comfortable, the security is stable now,” adding that during the previous regime he had witnessed the killing of a man because of his smartphone. Today, “we can go out without being subjected to any kind of attacks, even during the night hours.” .
Looking for fairness
Returning to the police commission, the two delegates say that they witnessed a highly disciplined queue of people submitting complaints from others accusing them of unfairness or wanting to clear security transactions. This is Jean Muhammad who says that he loaned one of the people who were very powerful in the previous regime 60,000 dollars 5 years ago and did not return anything of it to him, “and today I want to get my dues back.”
This is a 22-year-old, in smart striped pants, who must renew his license – about $115 – to be able to continue teaching English at his institute. As for Zebula, a law professor at a private university, he says that he has not been paid for 3 years, and is asking his boss to pay all the late wages.
The delegates say that they all arrived with their pockets full of documents, which they hand to the Taliban police officer in charge of documentation.
The investigations are entrusted – among other things – to Mohammed, 28, an intelligence officer, who claims that in his pursuit of potential criminals, he does not differentiate between “small and big fish”, and defends, saying, “We have no right to be violent to get to the truth.” To guide him in his investigations, Muhammad relies – according to him – on “information” he gets from “taxi drivers, restaurants, and hospital agents.”
Muhammad surprises us by saying: Can I, in turn, ask you a question: “Why is the whole world against us?”
This officer asserts that the Taliban is it, and they have the same goal they had 25 years ago, which is “to make the word of God supreme, but we will show more wisdom so as not to disturb the citizens, we hope that our leaders will not be extremists in the future, we want educated girls who can go to school.” and get a job or become a doctor and police commissioner, but on the other hand, we refuse to take off their headscarves.”