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    Protestors block busy highway

    CHARIKAR (PAN): Hundreds of residents on Saturday blocked the Kabul-North highway for at least one hour in Qarabagh district of central Parwan province, asking the government not to reverse its decision on the town chief’s replacement.

    Mohammad Hanif Siddique, the district’s administrative head, has been replaced in compliance with a presidential decree. The protestors said some individuals were trying to keep Siddique in his office.

    "Some people are out to get Siddiqui back on his job, but we want the decree to be enforced," one of the protesting people, Shah Mari, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Another protestor, Noor Mohammad said: “On Wednesday, some individuals held a gathering in the district bazaar and urged the government not to replace Siddiqui. We don't want him to continue as district chief," he said.

    Zmarai, who owns a shop in the town, said Charikar dwellers were divided over the replacement issue. He added Wolesi Jirga member Anwar Khan Oryakhel was behind the replacement of the district chief.

    But Oryakhel dismissed his involvement, saying district chiefs were appointed on merit and according to people's wishes. He added people were not happy with the ex-chief's performance. The lawmaker also accused the Kabul governor of imposing his decisions on the people.

    District crime branch chief, Najibur Rahman, said the protest started at around 9am and ended peacefully after closing the highway for an hour.