Welcome Home to Pashmul shura held in Kandahar City to bring residents back

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
Story by Capt. Kevin Sandell

Date: 11.29.2011
Posted: 12.01.2011 06:13
News ID: 80754

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In the section of Kandahar City known as Mirwais Mina, Afghan leaders with the 2nd Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, partnered with leaders from Combined Task Force Spartan’s 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment to conduct a shura, Nov. 26, aimed at encouraging former residents of Charkusa to move back to the area.

Mirwais Mina was selected based on a poll of people who still reside in the Charkusa area, and was conducted by the Soldiers of 4-4 Cavalry Squadron. In addition to the shura, Lt. Col. Hazrat, the Commander of the 2nd Kandak, awarded a “Shona Ba Shona” medal to Esmatullah, the former leader of the Afghan Local Police in Charkusa. “Shona ba Shona” is an Afghan term for “shoulder-to-shoulder,” and is awarded by coalition forces to Afghan Soldiers and key influencers for helping increase security in the Zharay and Maiwand districts.

Lt. Col. Michael Katona, Commander of 4-4 Cavalry Squadron, facilitated the shura, and asked that former members of the Charkusa community return to their homes and their village. Elders listened attentively as leaders from the Afghan and coalition security forces described the recent changes to the village, including improved security, roads, a new school, and a refurbished bazaar.

Capt. Daniel Sjursen, Commander of 4-4 Cavalry’s B Troop, spoke of the improved security, explaining to the elders how the recently formed local police, made up of citizens of Charkusa, was responsible for driving the Taliban out, and ending the violence. He ended his speech saying, “It takes the full population to live in a village and bring it to life.”

Deputy Afghan police commander, Safi Khan, who is well-respected in both Charkusa and Pashmul also spoke at the shura about opportunities now present in Charkusa to include Civil Service Department jobs, canal cleaning projects, tree planting initiatives, and wheat seed distribution.

In addition to the speakers at the shura, Esmatullah, who was wounded in line of duty, vowed to return to Charkusa saying, “I will return … I am defending my country”.

Initiatives such as Welcome Home Pashmul are indicative of several like initiatives being conducted across CTF Spartan’s area of operation. Such programs are key to ensuring the future prosperity of Zharay district.