52% of Afghanistan still under Taliban control: Survey

Taliban delegates shake hands during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar

A survey conducted by an Afghan media outlet has revealed the 52 per cent of the war-torn country is still under the control of the Taliban, while the Kabul government controls only 49 per cent of the territory.

In the survey conducted between November 2020 and February 2021, the Pajhwok Afghan News, the country’s largest independent news agency, said that 59 per cent of the population lives under the government, Khaama News reported.

According to the survey, the Taliban controls 337,000 square.km of Afghan land and about 297,000 square.km is under government control, while 18,000 square metre is reported to have no influence over by any of the parties.

The findings revealed that 27 districts are under Taliban control while 64 other districts are fully controlled by the government and the rest 297 districts are controlled by both of the parties.

A Taliban spokesman claimed that the group has control over 70 per cent of the country’s territories which was later rejected by the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib at a weekly briefing on Saturday.

“The Taliban claims to have control over 70 per cent of the territory, but even today, they convene their meetings in Quetta (in Pakistan) where they make plans on how to kill the people of Afghanistan and destroy the gains that we have achieved and destroy our infrastructures,” TOLO News quoted Mohib as saying.

The survey comes as the peace talks between the Afghan government negotiating team and the Taliban representatives in Qatari capital Doha have come to a standstill.

The second round of intra-Afghan talks, which resumed on January 5 in Doha, has stalled.

According to local media reports, no meeting has been held over the past 25 days.

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