Afghanistan: Argu residents demand expulsion of outsider Taliban members

On the third day of public protests in Badakhshan on Sunday, demonstrators issued a resolution demanding that the Taliban hand over the perpetrator responsible for a local’s death by Taliban forces.

While the full text of the resolution has not been made public, sources indicate that residents of the Argu and Darayim districts demand the expulsion of Taliban members who are not native speakers of the local languages from the province.

One protester at a rally in Argu stated, “Those who have come from other provinces, who we do not fully understand because of language differences and who have intruded into our homes, we don’t want them here anymore.”

The intensity of the protests in Badakhshan escalated after a young man named Abdul Basit was killed by Taliban forces amid tensions over the destruction of poppy fields in Argu. The protests, which started in Darayim three days ago, have since spread to Argu.

Abdul Basit’s body was buried on Sunday.

Previously, sources reported that an elderly man named Nizamuddin Bay was killed by Taliban forces in Darayim, Badakhshan on Friday during similar tensions.

During these three days of protests, fifteen civilians have also been injured, sources added.

The Taliban have dispatched a delegation led by Fasihuddin Fitrat, a prominent Taliban military chief from Badakhshan, to address the situation. Shamsuddin Shariat, head of the Taliban’s department for tracking leadership orders and also from the Kusham district of Badakhshan, accompanies Fitrat.

The protests have triggered a wave of reactions. The Islamic Society Party, led by Salahuddin Rabbani and primarily based in Badakhshan, stated in a release that the oppression, tyranny, and discrimination by the Taliban are the causes of these protests.

The release reads, “The people of Badakhshan and all Afghan citizens are well aware that the Taliban group, apart from its tyrannical and selfish intentions and actions, has no other legitimate and benevolent goals towards the honorable people of the country and has held Afghanistan hostage with its terrorist actions.”

The Federalist Association of Afghanistan also highlighted that the protests are a prominent example of the peak of people’s dissatisfaction with the Taliban regime. “The residents of Badakhshan have protested in extreme poverty and desperation against the most ruthless group, losing their lives in the process. Oppression, injustice, absolutism, expansionism, ethnic hegemony, violations of privacy, dignity, and honor are the main reasons for the people of Badakhshan’s protests against the Taliban regime,” stated the association’s release.

The Purple Saturdays Movement, a women’s protest group, said at a protest gathering that the Taliban, under the pretext of destroying poppy fields in the northern and northeastern provinces, especially in Badakhshan, suppress Afghan citizens and violate their privacy.

In addition to these reactions, several high-profile figures from the former government, including Rahmatullah Nabil, Latif Pedram, Fawzia Koofi, and Amrullah Saleh, have welcomed these public protests. However, the Taliban claim to have managed the situation.