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    Graft, land-grabs widespread in Nangarhar: Muslimyar

    JALALABAD (PAN): Halted development activities, rampant land-grab and endemic administrative corruption have made the life of the people miserable in eastern Nangarhar province, the Senate chairman said on Monday.

    Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, who arrived in Jalalabad on Monday, told Pajhwok Afghan News no development project could be executed in the province over the last two years, blaming the messy situation on both provincial officials and lawmakers representing Nangarhar in Parliament.

    "As the speaker of the upper house, I declare there is widespread corruption in Nangarhar, and in the whole country as well," Muslimyar, a native of Jalalabad, said. He claimed the entire government-owned lands in all districts of Nangarhar had been encroached by many individuals.

    About his political differences with Haji Zahir Qadir, a lawmaker from Nangarhar, Muslimyar said he had no personal dispute with him : "You may ask him if he has any problem with me," he said.

    Muslimyar acknowledged many of his supporters held government positions in Nangarhar, but denied misusing his authority as the Senate chairman. He preferred appointments on merit.

    About post-2014 Afghanistan's scenario, Muslimyar remarked peace and stability could come only when all parties to the 11-year-old conflict agreed to a ceasefire and started working together for the country's development.

    "In the past, foreigners failed to protect Afghanistan, but we have the capability to guard the homeland after the withdrawal of foreign troops."

    Muslimyar, who claimed the security situation has improved in areas handed over to Afghan forces in the east, urged the rebels to shun violence and invited them to participate in the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections in 2014 and 2015.

    Upbeat about the future, Muslimyar argued Afghan forces were developing the capacity to keep eastern Afghanistan from falling to the insurgents once international forces ended their combat operations.

    mm/ma



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