US-led foreign combat troops are expected to pull out of Afghanistan within three years, but a decade into their mission, security still remains precarious.
In Sar Howza in Paktika province, a new district governor has been appointed – the second in just four weeks – after the previous governor was killed in a Taliban attack.
A Taliban leader linked to the death of the last governor has been under custody but many people in the district demand he be released, fearing the Taliban would take revenge on them.
Even the new governor could accept the Mullah’s release, albeit with conditions.
With no permanent security presence in most villages, the government cannot get an influential foothold – a challenge that is experienced all along Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan.
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reports from eastern Afghanistan.