We’re in the village of Baluchan, about 570 miles from Kabul at a shurah in the heart of an area until recently under Taleban control. Over the past 48 hours British and Afghan troops have been engaged in firefights with the Taleban to clear the surrounding countryside. Hajibullah, the charismatic district governor, has just made his way up from Nad-e Ali in a nervous but cheerful convoy of well-protected vehicles. but the IED threat and the terrain forces his party to patrol the last kilometre on foot.
The shurah — a gathering of elders — was the first time many locals had come face to face with the Afghan Government, a concept more notional than real across vast swaths of southern Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »