TRUMP AD­MIN­IS­TRA­TION RE­PORT TO US CONGRESS Afghan Govt’s Con­trol Over Dis­tricts Hits Low­est

About two-thirds of Afghan’s pop­u­la­tion lives in the ar­eas still un­der Kabul’s con­trol

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The Afghan gov­ern­ment has lost con­trol over a record num­ber of dis­tricts this year,thoughTal­iban­toohavelost­somear­eas, saidaTrumpad­min­is­tra­tionre­port­sent­toUS Congress this week. The re­port fo­cuses on the pe­riod be­tween July 1 and Septem­ber 30, 2018. The Spe­cial In­spec­tor Gen­eral for Afghanistan Re­con­struc­tion (SIGAR), which pre­pares these quar­terly re­ports for the US Congress, notes that Afghanistan’s thinly stretched se­cu­rity forces have been un­able to re­tain con­trol over vast ar­eas of the coun­try.

The los­ing inf lu­ence of Afghan se­cu­rity forces is a headache for In­dia, which has in­vested heav­ily in var­i­ous projects in the land­locked coun­try. Afghan forces have also sus­tained record ca­su­al­ties dur­ing this pe­riod, the re­port noted. “Un­clas­si­fied data shows the Afghan Na­tional De­fence Se­cu­rity Forces (ANDSF) made min­i­mal or no progress in pres­sur­ing the Tal­iban over the quar­ter,” the re­port SAID, quot­ing Pen­tagon data.

Data showed that “the ANDSF failed to gain greater con­trol or in­flu­ence over dis­tricts, pop­u­la­tion and ter­ri­tory this quar­ter. While the dis­tricts, ter­ri­tory, and pop­u­la­tion un- der in­sur­gent con­trol or in­flu­ence also de­creased slightly, the dis­tricts, ter­ri­tory, and pop­u­la­tion con­tested … in­creased”.

The re­port de­scribes the “un­con­tested” ar­eas as those un­der nei­ther Afghan gov­ern­ment nor in­sur­gent con­trol or in­flu­ence.

The re­port points out that Afghan gov­ern- ment con­trol or in­flu­ence over the coun­try’s dis­tricts reached the low­est level (55.5%) since SIGAR be­gan track­ing dis­trict con­trol in Novem­ber 2015. The Afghan gov­ern­ment now con­trols or inf lu­ences dis­tricts in which about 65% of the pop­u­la­tion lives, un­changed since Oc­to­ber 2017.

—AP

Afghan se­cu­rity forces in­spect the site of a sui­cide at­tack in Kabul. Num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in con­tested ar­eas

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