Thousands of Afghanistan’s Ex-Military Personnel Are in Limbo

With the fall of the government, thousands of Afghanistan’s highly-trained security personnel have become destitute. The Taliban have not yet given them the opportunity to serve. A number of those who have graduated from the country’s military universities and have been trained for years to fight terrorism, corruption, and security are also reported to be in limbo.

The ex-servicemen say they have approached the Interior Ministry and other relevant departments to find out about their fate, but have not received a positive response. According to them, because the Taliban see them as enemies and do not recruit them in the security institutions. They say they were educated in a completely Islamic system and their goal was to provide services to the people.

Once again, they call on the Taliban to provide them with jobs, adding that they got talents and capabilities that will help the Taliban in providing security, fighting terrorism, and corruption. The Taliban, however, have not yet made that decision, saying former government soldiers who believe in national interests and “jihad” will be recruited by security forces.

Ex-military personnel say that the Taliban should also recruit professional and trained personnel to their governments and use their capacity to advance security. This is while the Taliban have repeatedly admitted that their forces have not received military training and do not know how to maintain order in the cities. Therefore, Zabihullah Mujahid announced at a press conference about a month ago that trained and professional security forces of the army, police, and national directorate of security will be mobilized along with Taliban fighters to form the Afghan Armed Forces. Apparently, these promises have not yet been fulfilled, and all former servicemen, including those who have just graduated from military academies, have been left destitute. This has caused concern among former military and military students.

Qais Mangal is a military graduate of the Afghan National Police (ANP) Academy. He told Hasht-e Subh Daily that the university had more than 5,000 students, all of whom became destitute with the fall of the government. According to him, just before the fall of the previous government, about 500 students graduated from the university in the fields of security, crime, border police, prisons, and logistics. These people are now completely destitute and the Taliban have not decided to use their capacity. The military scholar states that he has repeatedly referred to the Ministry of Interior and other related institutions, but has not received a positive response. On the other hand, Mangal points out that due to the uncertainty of their fate, dozens of all his fellow have left their homeland and emigrated. According to him, several of his classmates have lost their lives due to migration.

Hasibaullah Khamosh, another graduate of the ANP academy, also expressed concern about his fate. He told the Hasht-e Subh reporter that although he had paid visits to relevant institutions many times, the Taliban had responded that he was a former government soldier and might not be recruited. Silently, however, he notes that Taliban forces have not received military training and are unable to deal with criminal matters and provide security in the city in a professional manner. According to him, security cannot be ensured by armed force alone.

“The Taliban have not received any professional training,” he said. “For example, in places where the murder or criminal offenses occur, they do not know how to conduct an investigation.”

Hasib Khamosh sees this as a problem for the Taliban, pointing out that they will face problems in the future. He once again called on the Taliban to provide opportunities for former military personnel to serve.

Jamshid Barakzai is also a graduate of the National Police Academy. He also says that thousands of men and women have been trained in various military units in this academy. According to him, before the fall of Kabul, hundreds of soldiers graduated and hundreds of others were about to graduate. He states that these soldiers have been trained for years on how to deal with criminals and how to investigate forged documents. According to Barakzai, hundreds of female students at the academy also received vocational military training. He points out that at present, the Taliban have no female military personnel, adding that the presence of female police officers is mandatory in all countries, including Islamic countries.

On the other hand, Jamshid Barakzai states that he has referred to the Taliban Ministry of Interior several times. However, the Taliban have rejected him, calling him an “infidel”. He added that while the students were being trained in military vocational subjects at the police academy, areligious scholars were also present.

The Taliban, meanwhile, say there are no barriers to hiring military personnel. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, made that conditional. Speaking to Hasht-e Subh, he said that former military cadres who were close to the Taliban and valued the country’s national values and jihad would be recruited in appropriate positions. Karimi adds that a number of former government employees are currently employed in the departments and that those who deserve it will be hired based on their competencies.

It is worth mentioning that with the rise of the Taliban, more than 300,000 active military forces have become unemployed. Some of these forces may have fled the country, but most of them are still inside Afghanistan. The Taliban have previously declared that professional and trained forces will be recruited in line with their forces. It is unclear when the Taliban’s promises will be fulfilled.

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Abdul Ahmad Hussaini, Hasht-e Subh Persian[/box]