Taliban courts more popular than 'corrupt' Karzai government in Afghanistan

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Kabul, Dec. 30 (ANI): More and more Afghans are turning to Taliban courts to get speedy justice, as the corrupt and incompetent government of President Hamid Karzai has proved to be futile to resolve disputes - particularly at local level.

When Habiba's elderly husband was badly beaten in a village brawl there was only one place that she could turn to for help and justice.

Barefoot and weeping, the farmer's wife, 50, trekked for four hours through Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains to meet the local Taleban commander.

"We are poor people. We know the Government doesn't help people like us. My husband had a broken leg so he sent me to find Mullah Zafar. We don't know anyone in the Government and we know they won't solve our problems," The Times quoted Habiba, as saying.

Mullah Zafar Akhund is the Taleban's shadow governor in Jaghatu district, Wardak province.

The insurgents have exploited local disputes that the Government cannot solve to gain footholds in new areas, irrespective of the ethnic divides.

"Ten years ago we had a problem with our land. One of our neighbours was powerful because he had connections [to a warlord] and he took some of our land. When Government came I complained many, many times but they didn't hear me," said Reza Yousef, one of Habiba's neighbours.

"If you complain to the Government it takes years; they ask you for bribes and you have to go to their offices every day. That's why people choose the Taleban," he added.

A senior NATO intelligence official admitted that the Taleban "has a government-in-waiting, with ministers chosen," ready to take over the moment the current administration failed.

"Time is running out. Taleban influence is expanding," he said, adding that the Taleban run shadow governments in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. (ANI)

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