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    Govt. accused of neglecting Paktia

    GARDEZ (PAN): The Paktia provincial council chief on Monday accused the government of failing to pay adequate attention to the southeastern province and alienating its residents.

    The step-motherly treatment being meted out to Paktia people has eroded people’s confidence in the government, head of provincial council, Khaista Jan Ahadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    He said residents, who wanted Paktia’s status to be upgraded, had met President Hamid Karzai, but the government had taken no step so far to meet the public demand.

    Ahadi complained the government had neither kept its promise to supply power to the province, nor completed the reconstruction of the Machalgho dam.

    Sceptical of the promises held out by the incumbent administration, the residents would stage protests if the government continued to neglect the province, the provincial council chief warned.

    Militants and neighbouring countries were exploiting the current situation in Paktia, he said, without elaborating. People’s disenchantment could spell trouble for the government, the public representative believed.

    He blamed the Ministry of Water and Energy for what he called discrimination against the people of Logar, Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces.

    Additionally, he alleged, the government was reluctant to authorise provincial councils. Ahadi urged devolution of powers to address locals’ complaints.

    Under the relevant law, provincial councils are to monitor activities of government departments. But the law says nothing about what the council will do if the government does not pay attention to resolving people’s problems.