‘We are not cowards,’ says Afghan soldier who trained at IMA, Dehradun

Another Afghan, who worked for the previous government, said he fears for his wife and sister after the return of the Taliban in Kabul. He too has gone into hiding as the Taliban were looking for him
Newly-inducted officers march during the passing out parade at IMA in Dehradun on June 13, 2020. (File photo)
Newly-inducted officers march during the passing out parade at IMA in Dehradun on June 13, 2020. (File photo)
Published on Aug 17, 2021 05:50 PM IST
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An Afghan National Army officer, who was trained at Dehradun’s Indian Military Academy and has gone into hiding after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, has said they did not expect the fall of Kabul in such a short time while insisting they are not cowards.

“Believe me, our army is strong. They (Taliban) are not that strong to overcome us by military force. It happened because the politicians sold us. They sold out the dignity and values...(of soldiers) who sacrificed their lives for our national flag and nation,” he told HT over WhatsApp from an undisclosed location near Kabul.

“A few days ago, the Taliban attacked one of our bases in western Afghanistan. But our commanding officers and political leaders asked us not to retaliate saying it will spoil the ongoing peace dialogue with them. And they then went on to capture all the important military bases of ours.” The officer said he has not eaten anything since Sunday. “Nor have I slept since then. I am only worried about my parents who are alone at home in Kabul…I do not have any ration left. But it is summer and there is lots of grass.”

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He said he managed to speak to his parents on Monday night. “They asked me to stay away from the city as the Taliban are roaming on the streets, armed. I am miles away from them, but that does not mean I am scared. Never. But till now nothing is clear,” he said. He added he is worried about his father because the Taliban know who he is.

“He fought against the Soviets in the 80s. If they carry door-to-door search, then they will find him. But he is a brave man,” he said.

The officer said they could not stock any ration because things happened so quickly. “But I have trained in India and know how to survive.” He said the country is looking at Ahmad Massoud, the son of national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, for leadership. “He has said he will struggle against Taliban as we are not going to accept their rule again. His people in Panjshir Valley have enough ammunition to stand against Taliban,” he said. “There is still hope. We will struggle.”

Another Afghan, who worked for the previous government, said he fears for his wife and sister after the return of the Taliban in Kabul. He too has gone into hiding as the Taliban were looking for him. “I was posted in Kohistan province of Afghanistan when Taliban took over. I escaped to Kabul where my family lives. But before we could plan an escape to safety, they captured Kabul also. Now, I have left my home and hiding somewhere else,” he said on WhatsApp. “The Taliban are searching for me, and I do not know if they capture me, what will they do to my wife and sister.” He said he tried to go to Panjshir but failed. “I could not do so because the Taliban blocked all the roads around Kabul. My brother managed to go there. He is safe now.”

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021