Taliban claims they've formed shadow government

This headline made me laugh . . . Wannabes. (But, seriously, do you blame 'em?)


Taliban claims they've formed shadow government
Updated Sat. Jan. 17 2009 10:22 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The Taliban are claiming they control 70 per cent of rural Afghanistan and have instituted a shadow government with their own police, courts and rule of law.

The boast comes in the days leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration as U.S. president, who is planning on dramatically ratcheting up America's military presence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's claim is being dismissed by many inside Afghanistan as empty rhetoric, but there is little denying that their presence is expanding.

Khalid Pashtoon, a member of the Afghan Parliament, says there isn't enough NATO and Afghan troops to police the entire country. As well, the justice system is spread thin and some villagers are turning to the harsh - but swift -- justice system of the Taliban.

"Right now the people have completely lost their faith, they mostly solve their legal disputes over Taliban judges," he said.

Recently the governor of Kandahar visited distant parts of his province to counter claims that the Taliban was in control in those regions.

Tooryalai Wesa, the Canadian-Afghan governor of Kandahar, called the Taliban's assertions "rumours."

But many villagers in the region told CTV's Steve Chao a different story -- saying they put their trust in the Taliban.

Wesa's shadow government counterpart is believed to be Mahibullah Akhunzada, The Canadian Press reports. He replaced Mullah Mahmood, who died last year in an air strike in Khakrez district.

He has said that the Taliban has shadow governors in all but three of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

With a report from CTV's Steve Chao and files from The Canadian Press