Taliban insurgents have been forced out of fifty villages in eastern Afghanistan by the efforts of civilians who formed an armed rebellion against the militants.
According to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, more than 250 men in the Ghazni province who have clashed daily with Taliban personnel have successfully repelled attempts by the terror group to retake the region over the past four months.
The fighters claimed they have removed Taliban from the Andar district which in the past served as a Taliban stronghold.
Reportedly, the local people resented orders by the Taliban to close certain schools and markets and also believed the militants were puppets of Pakistan.
Civilian-led movements against the Taliban have also been reported in other provinces, including Paktiya, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman.
“These (uprisings) are real, and they (have been) motivated by the insurgents' bad behavior in the past 10 years," Waliullah Rahmani, executive director of the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies, told USA Today.
"I hope this movement can grow because it offers a good alternative and solution for providing stability in Afghanistan."
NATO and western officials are hopeful that similar movements sprout across Afghanistan in order to finally defeat the Taliban insurgents once and for all.
Lotfullah Kamrani, a 24-year-old commander of the anti-Taliban fighters, told the Telegraph: "The Taliban are very strong, but… the community is on our side and they cannot stand against us.”
He added: "[The Taliban] were applying the laws of Pakistan here in Afghanistan. They were creating their own rules on the orders of Pakistan.”
Kamrani also noted that the Taliban blames the uprising on the U.S. and on Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but privately they are willing to negotiate
"The Taliban have requested many times for us to talk with them," he said. "There's no trust left though."
A resident of Andar, Mohammad Nazir, explained that the Taliban overstayed their welcome in the area.
"We were helpless in many things," he said. "The schools were closed, the shops were closed, my sons were not able to go to school. We had talked about what to do many times in the past, but we decided to rise up in the spring."
However, while the members of the uprising oppose the Taliban, it is unclear that they support the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai. It is also not known who is leading the uprising.
Mohammad Aref Shah Jahan, a former intelligence chief , said the revolt was linked to Hizb-i-Islami (HII), a militant organization that dates back to 1979 during the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. The founder of HII, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was himself notorious for his brutality and has run his own insurgency against NATO and Karzai over the past decade.
Uprising members deny they have any link to HII.
"It's a 100 percent civilian uprising. It doesn't belong to any political party, but we are made up of all the old groups,” said Faizanullah Faizan, a former governor and former senior HII commander.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.