Owners want impounded vehicles released
KANDAHARCITY (PAN): A number of people on Friday called for the release of their vehicles confiscated by the authorities eight months ago in southern Kandahar province.
In compliance with a presidential decree, security officials last year impounded 400 vehicles that had no registration or ownership documents. However, the process came to a halt shortly after public protests.
Dozens of protesting people flocked to the Kandahar Press Club and asked the government to resolve the matter. Noor Mohammad, one of the protestors, said his Mazda car was among 400 vehicles seized eight months ago.
He added the vehicles were the only source of income for the poor people. A large number of unregistered vehicles were still plying the city roads, he said, adding they made efforts to get back their vehicles, but could not succeed.
Mohammad urged President Hamid Karzai to take pity on the poor families, which have been deprived of their livelihood sources.
Mohammad Ibrahim, another affected man, said that dozens of vehicles had been imported in the form of parts over the past nine years and the government collected a tax on the parts.
"After being assembled, the government confiscates the cars," he complained, calling for legislation to prevent the common people from being affected. He said many people bought the cars for being cheap to support their families.
Deputy provincial council chief, Haji Agha Lalai, said they were concerned at the move, which he feared would increase the yawning gap between the government and the people. Hundreds of families had been deprived of income sources, he agreed.
Lalai said a delegation had discussed the issue with President Hamid Karzai, who promised the release of the vehicles. However, the president was yet to translate his vow into action, he alleged.
Provincial council chief, Ahmad Wali Karzai, said dozens of vehicles in parts were being imported on payment of taxes. The poor people bought the vehicles to earn two square meals, he added.
The governor's spokesman, Zalmay Ayubi, said they would release the vehicles only when they received instructions from the central government, which had ordered the campaign against unregistered cars.
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