Radio Salaam Watandar
By Zalmai Ahadi and Sanjar Qiam
“The Mussa Qalla fight in no way violates the agreement, the agreement holds firm despite some of the incidents that have happened so”
Said brigadier Richard Nugee, the spokesman for ISAF in a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday. Referring to the latest clashes between the insurgents and NATO troops in Mussa Qalla which resulted in more than 70 causalities.
“The recent incident south of Mussa Qalla is about 15 to 20KM away from the district center” Nugee added.
National Council representative from Helmand province Nassima Niazzi said the agreement is no longer in place and she added to the reasons “National council representative didn’t have any part in the agreement, and the agreement wasn’t transparent, and no insurance of peoples safety was made, and it wasn’t a substantial agreement, any agreement with above criteria wouldn’t last long in Afghanistan”
But the Helmand governor spokesperson says the agreement holds stiff and Mussa Qalla is open for people to go and come in safety.
Muheeddin Khan the spokesperson for Helmand governor added “we are trying to talk and negotiate with people and up until now the flow of traffic is normal. Security is firm in Mussa Qalla and there hasn’t been any incident which might cause the cease of the agreement. The people of Mussa Qalla have said if government is not holding to its word then we’ll leave our homes. At this moment the agreement is in place. There is nothing else – no problem”
Mattiaullah Khan who introduces himself as the ex-governor of Sangin district of Helmand was in Kabul a couple of weeks ago with another 260 representatives of Helmand, they were demanding the removal of Helmand governor, Dawod. He said about Mussa Qalla operation and displacement of residents.
“These people include 10-15 narcotic traffickers and have their own factories or those who has received cash from Taliban or are part of Taliban. NATO operation is a strike on Talibans sanctuary and it’s a good thing. Taliban were organizing there and they have been to establish nests there. Taliban has also had established opium refineries and Osama related Arabs were spotted in the district. Those who claim they will leave the area are not actually the residents; they are either Taliban or drug traffickers”
On the other hand Mallim Shah who claims to be former provincial chief of intelligence supports NATO operation, and claims there has been no harm to civilians in the operation.
“The battle took place in proximity of Landi Nawie called Lashkarak. Taliban were housed in two forts of 30 to 40 each. This place is where they were getting organized for operations. The presence of civilian in the area is a lie”
In the face of Mussa Qalla residence threat to leave their houses if any future operation take place and wide spread local discontent with the Helmand governor, Dawod, we asked general Nugee if NATO support and listen to local population.
“The bottom line is the president selects the governor, we support the president and the government of Afghanistan. And therefore if the president has selected the governor we’ll support him. We will support the president and the government in Mussa Qalla agreement”