Social council meeting ends on rowdy note
JALALABAD (PAN): A gathering of social council representatives from eastern provinces ended on an ugly note on Thursday when participants developed differences over the agenda.
Most of the participants viewed the meeting, attended among others by Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi and Governor Gul Agha Sherzai, an election campaign for Mahmud Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai.
Council head, Qamar-u-din Shinwari, said the gathering was aimed at sharing people’s problems with the officials concerned and it had no political agenda.
Ahadi asked governors, district chiefs and local council heads to make efforts at achieving rights for their respective provinces from the central government. He said the government had not intentionally delayed the extension of power supply from Naghlu Dam to Nangarhar.
Sherzai announced his support for the council, asking religious scholars and tribal elders to help the government overcome warlordism in eastern provinces.
He said the council had members had met President Karzai, MPs and Cabinet ministers to peace efforts and economic development. Land mafia was in control of the country and due to the lack of patriotism, corrupt officials were sucking people’s blood, he alleged.
Former deputy defence minister Dr. Yousuf Nuristan asked the people of Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman to cooperate with the government in addressing insecurity. He urged Sherzai to construct a second bridge on the Kabul River next to the old one in Behsud district.
Tribal elder Hajji Sohail Shinwari said policies of the central government were in conflict with human rights and Islamic laws. The government could not control irresponsible operations by foreign troops over the past 11 years, he said.
The meeting turned rowdy when a professor of Nangarhar University, Mangal Sherzad, was refused a chance to speak. The gathering held at the Sherzai stadium issued a 47-article declaration that was distributed to participants.