Afghan security concerns: Kabul residents dismiss ‘ineffective’ checkpoints

Published July 25th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
Afhan army soldiers driving through Kabul. (AFP/File)
Afhan army soldiers driving through Kabul. (AFP/File)

Kabul residents have hit out at security forces for bothering them at check-points and barriers they have ostensibly created for public safety and useless searches.

They believe check-points and barriers constructed by the security personnel have not been effective in improving the law and order situation. Ordinary people are often subject to these restrictions.

Pajhwok reporters visited security check-points in Public Health, Qala-i-Fathullah Abdul Haq, Shaheed, Pul-i-Mahmood Khan, Old Macro Ryan, Shah Shaheed, Kart-i-Naw, Salim Karwan and Airport Squares, as well as Dahn-i-Chaman and Madina Bazaar areas.

Pajhwok learnt only one of the 15 check-points in Qala-i-Zaman Khan neighbourhood properly checked vehicles and people. Other check-points were not properly manned and the limited number of policemen there did not discharge their duty properly.

Kabul inhabitants

The capital dwellers lashed out at police, saying barriers had been placed on roads, hampering the movement of vehicles. They charged security officials with failing to check vehicles and individuals properly. Shakeb, living in Shaheed Square area, said police discharged their duty in sweltering heat, without searching vehicles systematically.

Naveed Ahmad, an inhabitant of Qala-i-Zaman Khan locality, described check-posts as a mere show. Police smoked while sitting under shade, without bothering to check vehicles properly.”

Hashmatullah, a taxi driver who was looking for passengers near the Kart-i-Naw checkpoint, alleged police had placed barriers bang in the middle of the road and there were no checks at all. At most checkpoints, he continued, there were traffic jams for a kilometre or two.

“When we get close to a checkpoint, rush and road blockades begin. But when we reach the checkpoint, no serious search is conducted and vehicles are allowed to proceed,” he maintained.

Abdul Sami Rassouli, a shopkeeper in Panjsad Family Square, suggested police should check every vehicle but most of the time security officials search cars only when alerted by intelligence agencies. He claimed if police stand guard on a road and ensure proper checking, nobody would dare to carry weapons or explosives.


Most of policemen manning check-points acknowledged two or three personnel could not check all vehicles. They said it was extremely difficult for to be on duty round the clock. They urged the Ministry of Interior to increase the number of policemen at check-points and introduce a two shift system.

They added vehicle checks could be improved if the number of policemen at check-points was increased and a two-shift system introduced.

Interior Ministry view

The Ministry of Interior says vehicle and individuals searches could increase or decrease in line with the changing security situation. In the absence of a high alert, the checking of every vehicle is not necessary, the ministry argues.

Najib Danish, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, said some check-points in the city had been removed at the request of residents. But he did not give the exact number of the posts or information about the existing check-points.

However, the MoI spokesman justified the presence of check-posts in some areas.He claimed these posts played an effective role in maintaining law and order in the capital.He lamented some powerful individuals, refusing to respect the law, behaved in an uncivilised manner.

By Azizullah Hamdard

Copyright © Pajhwok Afghan News. All rights reserved.

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