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Poor leadership and no coordination caused Kunduz fall: Report

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“Audio recordings by NDS reveal the Taliban in Kunduz were receiving directives from Peshawar,” says Saleh

AT-KABUL: Kunduz fact finding team released its report on Saturday and blamed poor leadership, lack of coordination and underutilization of resources for the fall of Kunduz city to the Taliban militants.

Amrullah Saleh, head of the team, said that the main reasons behind the collapse of the city were poor leadership, complications in structure of local administration.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that structure-complexity caused confusions as no one knew from whom to take orders.

He termed improper management of resources as the third main reason behind the fall of Kunduz city.  “The city did not fall to the Taliban due to lack of resources, for no soldier left his stronghold due to lack of bullets or food,” he added. He said that the Taliban militants captured tens of armor and non-armor military vehicles.

“The biggest mistake was when the Taliban captured Chahardara and Dasht-e-Archi districts of the province but no step was taken against them. Then, they captured Aqtash area of Khanabad district and the government relied on the weak structure of local uprising groups. These all mistakes paved the ground to the Taliban to bring Kunduz city under siege for several months,” Saleh said.

He criticized poor management mechanism, slow circulation of information, decision making, and action taking strategy in the National Security Council (NSC) as the key reasons behind lack of coordination that eventually led to the fall of the city. The team termed the present structure of the NSC as disturbing and a cause of instability.

The fact finding team sees Pakistan’s hand behind fall of Kunduz city. Saleh said that there was hand of an intelligence agency and army behind fall of the city. “According to locals, Pakistan was behind collapse of the city to the Taliban. Based on the audio recordings received from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Taliban militants were receiving directives from Peshawar,” he added.

He said that whenever the Taliban speaks about guests in their telephonic communications, they refer to their Pakistani advisors and terrorists. “After retaliation attacks from Afghan forces, the Taliban in their communications said that guest should not be captured or harmed which shows presence of Pakistan advisors in the city,” he went on as saying.

Saleh said that the attack on Kunduz city was not planed in month, but was at least planned in a year.

“After strengthening their strongholds in the city the militants moved towards Dawra area near Kunduz airport on 29th September. Based on the request of the Afghan government, in this specific time foreign troops conducted airstrikes against the Taliban and the direction of war changed in the favor of Afghan security forces,” he said.

Saleh said that a ‘network’ in the province is against a powerful government in the province. He added the network is comprised of the people who see their interests in a weaker government. “The network has influence on civilian and military organizations and is being backed by some powerful individuals in the central government. Unfortunately the network has access to criminal economy and have established a parallel government in Kunduz province,” he said.

Saleh said that they have already submitted the report to President Ashraf Ghani. “The president pledged to assess the report and take all necessary action for improvement of security,’ he added.

The team also criticized illegal interference from a number of lawmakers in the political affairs of the government. They also termed widespread corruption, ghost policemen, weak judicial system and presence of illegal armed people as other reasons behind fall of the city.