Kabul-Jalalabad highway reopens after protest
KABUL (PAN): The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway was reopened one and half an hour after it was blocked by supporters of a failed parliamentary election candidate in Pul-i-Charkhi area east of Kabul on Saturday.
Nearly 200 supporters of Khpalwak Lakankhel, the candidate, blocked the highway by burning tyres. The protest that started at around 9:30am near Jalalabad bus stand culminated at 11am.
Carrying big photos of Lakankhel, the protesters chanted slogans in support of their representative. "Long live Lakankhel," they chanted. Heavy police contingent was on high alert to prevent the demonstration from turning violent.
Addressing the protestors, Lakankhel alleged that due to the presence of corrupt officials and the involvement of foreign countries in its affairs, the government had been unable to deliver justice to the masses.
The Kuchi candidate, who got 282 votes during the Sept. 18 election, said they had decided to launch a nationwide protest movement against the government on the fourth day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Saturday).
"It is the beginning. We want a peaceful and democratic revolution against the government," he said.
The losing candidate also urged people not to cause damages to public and private properties during the protest. “Afghan security personnel are the sons of the soil. Participants are requested to maintain good behavior with them. I also ask the security personnel not to behave ruthless with protestors, otherwise it would have bad consequences,” he warned.
The speaker said criminals occupying government positions should be removed with an immediate effect and the parliament should be dissolved. He called for the imposition of an emergency rule in the country to pave the ground for a fresh election.
“Negative elements of the society should not be allowed to participate in the next Bonn conference in order to avoid the same bad results from the first conference,” he added.
In December 2001, a number of well-known Afghans met under UN auspices in Bonn city of Germany to decide on a plan for governing the country. The establishment of interim and transitional set up, the preparation of a draft for the national constitution, conducting presidential and parliamentary elections were some of the important decisions taken at that conference. The second Next Bonn conference is scheduled to be held in December this year.
Lakankhel asked the international community to give the Afghans their rights. However, he did not explain the rights.
Other candidates and their supporters also arrived at the scene to protest in favour of their candidates, who had been declared as losers. They said the fourth day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Sept.3) was marked as the beginning of a national revolution against the government.
None of the failed candidates has so far commented on the national revolution.
"Lakankhel wants to achieve his personnel interests, to be famous, so he talks about national revolution," Syamak Harawi, the deputy spokesman for the president, said.
He said the people of Afghanistan would never accept his demand for the revolution. "Dissolving the parliament is impossible, but the government is trying to remove corrupt officials from government institutions," he said.
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