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Exclusive interview: Afghan General Raziq vows to protect Kandahar

08-09-2011 08:33 BJT

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Kandahar, as the birthplace of the Taliban, is an Afghan city where political assassinations are a weekly occurrence. However, General Abdul Raziq Achikzai, responsible for securing the city shared with us the challenges and difficulties he is facing. CCTV's correspondent Yama Wolasmal in Kandahar interviews with him.

In a mansion which once housed Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the mysterious Taliban leader, we meet the man responsible for securing Kandahar,the birthplace of the Taliban. General Abdul Raziq Achikzai says, apart from fighting the insurgency in his province, his main focus to keep his forces corruption-free.

He said, "Police enforce the law of the land. But for 35 years we did not have laws, nor did we have a police force. Naturally this causes friction between us and civilians. Our police officers must stay away from corruption, because that’s the only way we can gain the trust and support of our people."

The weak position the Afghan government has in the districts, often puts police in conflict with the people, according to the Kandahar police chief.

CCTV's correspondent Yama Wolasmal in Kandahar talks with General Abdul
Raziq Achikzai

He said, "In some of our districts we lack government representation, courts and prosecutors. People approach the police with their grievances. To resolve the conflict the police have side with one of the conflicting parties, creating a lot of enemies for our officers."

In his early thirties the young police chief claims the war in Afghanistan can only be won if Afghan authorities and the US-led coalition succeed in Kandahar. Such is the importance of this city. But he says, securing Kandahar will be impossible as long as neighboring countries like Pakistan, continue their support for the insurgency in Afghanistan.

General Abdul Raziq Achikzai, responsible for securing the city shared
with us the challenges and difficulties he is facing.

He said, "This war is not being fought by some of our disgruntled brothers in the districts. They don’t have what it takes to plan sophisticated attacks in our cities. The enemies have powerful backers in Pakistan.Our neighbors have deep roots here. Afghanistan was made here and it will destroyed from Kandahar. Our neighbors know this, that’s why they are trying to destabilize Kandahar."

Training, weapons and financial assistance is being provided to insurgents inside Pakistan, according to General Raziq.

He also said, "The Pakistani border town of Chaman is just an hours drive away from Kandahar. In Chaman the terrorist leadership is base,they have their training facilities there. We are not talking about a few dozen terrorists, but hundreds of militants who are flowing in to Afghanistan on deadly missions."

After the killing of the president’s powerful half-brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, General Raziq has risen to prominence in Kandahar. In a city where political assassinations are a weekly occurrence, Raziq is on the top of the insurgent hit list. He is now being protected by an elite commando force, trained by American special forces, and hand picked by himself. Despite the protection he says he knows his days are numbered and that he’s prepared to die.

He said, "My beloved mother, who’s old now, calls my secretary a dozen times every day asking for me. Then he has to lie saying I am in a meeting when I’m actually on the front lines. My family is scared the Taliban will assassinate me, but I will keep fighting because this country needs the blood of its people and I’m ready to make that sacrifice."


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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