Faryab residents staged mass protests on Thursday (January 13th). The reason was the detention of a Taliban commander in the north named Makhdoom Alam Rabbani. During the war against the former regime, he had been elected as the governor of Faryab and in charge of the military commission. Taliban forces arrested the commander without providing a reason, which provoked a backlash. Protesters in Maimana took control of the city with the help of some other Taliban forces. These forces disarmed their own comrades. They demanded the release of the Taliban commander, citing ethnic issues as the reason for his detention.
The protests eventually escalated into violence, with one Taliban fighter killed and four others wounded, including a civilian. Subsequently, a man named Parwiz -the only civilian injured in the incident- died and, a woman was wounded during the clash. These incidents caused the protests to spread, making the people carry the body of the victim with them in the city of Maimana. Sources in Faryab said that the state of the provincial capital was in a state of emergency and that Uzbek forces controlled most parts of Maimana. The arrest of another Taliban commander, Qari Vakil, in Faryab also exacerbated the situation.
Two days after the beginning of the protests, no reaction has been shown to the Faryab incident. Some Taliban officials only tweeted on the second day of the incident. They called the escalation of ethnic and racial violence the greatest achievement of democracy in Afghanistan and accused former government officials of dispersing the people. Members of the Taliban, who are active on social media, have described the arrest of the Taliban commander as part of the group’s grand plan to clear its ranks. However, no clarity has been provided to convince the people and improve the situation.
The distrust of the people, irregularities, lack of accountability, and disregard for sensitive issues are more outstanding in the Faryab incident. In the past, the government was required to take the appropriate actions when detaining individuals. Despite the challenges, the inclusiveness of the system in the past has helped people see things more positively. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the current situation. Individuals are detained without justifications, and when it becomes sensitive, no explanation is given. This information gap has caused more people to look at the recent event from an ethnic perspective, creating significant gaps.
The existing situation requires that the ground must be prepared for the participation of all sections of society to put an end to pessimism and disbelief. The rule of law and compliance with the principle of accountability also helps to control the situation. Also, those responsible before such arrests should announce the charges so that the people know the reason for such actions. In addition to these, the questions posed by the people must be answered. Arbitrary and ambiguous actions lead to nothing but pessimism and convulsions. Not learning from the mistakes of the previous government will lead Afghanistan to the abyss.
Any chaos has no other consequence than giving a chance to irresponsible individuals and increasing the crisis. There is still no suitable alternative in the current situation. It is best to avoid ethnicization as much as possible. It is impossible without the participation of the people in the system and the formation of an inclusive government. Laws should be the benchmark for action. Let the authorities learn to be accountable and end the crises by forming an inclusive government that is the will of the people and the international community. If indifference continues in this regard, the current crisis will lead to a catastrophe. Unfortunately, the continuation of the current situation is the beginning of another conflict that will not have a better outcome than the misery of the people.