JOWJAN'S SOLDIERS WITH VOICEOVER
Independent Films, Documentaries, Politics
Colonel Gulbahar leads the men of the 3rd Kandak, 1st Brigade in Jowzjan. The capital of the province was handed over to Afghan forces in January. Since then, security has been stable.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defense in response to an attack by any external party. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.
DISCLAIMER: No material produced by NATO is to be sold, used for outside advertising or promotional purposes of any kind. All content taken from NATO and republished must be clearly credited or sourced to NATO. Photos, videos and articles are released under the legally recognized terms of "Fair Use" to members of the press, academia, non-profits and the general public. No material is to be used in programs, articles or online publications of any kind that defame NATO or its member countries. Material is provided, free of charge, for use in objective and balanced content, even if at times the end products may be critical of NATO. In instances where a member country is criticized, NATO wishes it to be made known that it does not associate itself with the contents of the article, publication or broadcast. NATO reserves the right to request the removal of NATO copyrighted material from any externally created content.
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
The border province of Jowzjan in the north of Afghanistan has a strong presence of Afghan National Army.
Although the main languages spoken here are Turmenki and Uzbeki, in contrast to the national languages of Dari and Pashto, the soldiers have a strong national identity when it comes to defending their country.
“We are Afghans and muslims, this is our country. We are here to defend our people and all our territory, our nation. If Afghans don't take responsibility for the security of our country, so who else will take it?”
Colonel Gulbahar has commanded the 3rd Kandak of the 1st Brigade for five years. He's dedicated to making sure his men are in top condition to ensure the security of the province.
“Parading is exercise. Right now, most of the soldiers are sweating. (to soldiers) Although you only paraded a little, still you're sweating.”
“We are 80% ready to defend our people and country because we've been preparing hard for this. We're trying to increase our capabilities and make ourselves very strong.”
Jowzjan has seen a positive response to the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, which helps former fighters re-join mainstream society. With 201 Taliban enrolled in the local programme in provincial capital Sherbegan, Colonel Gulbahar makes sure the message of reintegration is carried with his men on patrol, even extending an invitation to his Kandak.
“The door of the government is open for everyone – we're all from one country. This includes the ANA, it's a joint home For Afghans – ANP and NDS, as well. No-one can say 'you guys are not allowed'. So it's an honour for us, for Afghans, if they come and join the ANA and take weapons to defend their country by patrolling.”
The Colonel's troops run repeated training exercises for operations. Although Jowzjan hasn't seen large-scale insurgent presence, there are still some attacks on Afghan and International forces in the area, as the province is used as a thoroughfare to the western region.
“Today, according to our study plan, we've walked 10km to increase our physical strength, especially for during an operation.”
Jowzjan's capital, Sherbegan, was transitioned over to Afghan security forces this year. With Colonel Gulbahar's leadership, it seems his men have a good chance of taking security for the province in the future. And it seems that leadership runs in the family.
“It's my desire, one hundred per cent, that my kids should join the ANA. Recently my eldest finished school. He's interested in the ANA and, of course, his father is in the ANA so it's his duty to work in the ANA too and try to bring security for his country and people.”
This is Ruth Owen, in Afghanistan, for the NATO Channel
Year of Production: 2012