Security forces in southern Kandahar province are detaining mullahs who have allegedly trained in neighboring countries and preach anti-government messages, local officials said Saturday.
Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq said at a press briefing that around eight percent of the mullahs in Kandahar had trained in neighboring countries and were propagating anti-government messages in areas near the border with Pakistan.
“They promote the wrong message. They propagate against the Afghan government all day in [nearby Pakistan towns] Quetta and Chaman. We request people to discontinue this, otherwise they will be legally detained,” Raziq said.
The arrests of such mullahs on Afghanistan’s side of the border began around two months ago and the operation to detain such mullahs is ongoing, he added.
Governor of Kandahar’s Dand district said that so far more than 30 mullahs have been arrested, but the head of Kandahar Department of Hajj and Religious Affairs Maulawi Noor ul said he only knew of two arrests.
“As far as I know, two Mullahs were arrested by the National Directorate of Security, and the NDS informed the Department of Hajj and Religious Affairs it was arresting these mullahs,” he told TOLOnews.
Raziq called on the Religious Affairs Ministry to cooperate with the security forces in identifying the mullahs.