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    Wardak residents applaud presidential decision

     KABUL (PAN): Residents and officials of central Maidan Wardak province on Monday welcomed President Hamid Karzai’s decision giving the US special forces two weeks to leave the province.

    Residents have been complaining over the past few months that they were harassed, killed and tortured during unauthorised raids by the forces and their Afghan supporters.

    Harassment at the hands of foreign troops had created metal problems for the people, but Karzai had finally addressed their concerns, a tribal elder from Sheikhabad area of Syedabad district, Abdul Basir, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Former senator from Chak district, Sami Jan Sherzad, hoped the decision should be enforced within the stipulated time.

    The security switch and withdrawal of foreign troops from the province was a major demand of the people, because the foreigners often created problems for them, he said.

    He thanked Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the Security Transition Commission head, for sharing their problem with the president. As a result, Karzai had ordered the troops out the province, the ex-lawmaker added.

    Wolesi Jirga member from Maidan Wardak, Abdul Ahmad Durrani, also welcomed the decision that met a longstanding demand of the masses and lawmakers. He explained the residents were about to initiate protests if the action had been delayed.

    A shopkeeper from Jalrez district, Qayyum, said they had congratulated friends and relatives over the telephone on the orders for US forces’ expulsion.

    The presidential decree has prevented large-scale migration and a possible public uprising, according to Haji Qudus, a tribal elder from Maidan Shahar. He said they were ready to provide security for their areas once the foreign troops pulled out.

    He had decided to retire as a schoolteacher, but the presidential orders changed his mind, said Obaidullah from in Nirkh district. He said on his way to the office, he would often see the foreign troops arresting and bothering the people.

    Hazrat Mohammad Janan, deputy chief of the provincial council, praised the role of media outlets, particularly Pajhwok Afghan News, in tracking the issue of public concern consistently.  

    About 30 tribal elders from different parts of the province visited the council office in Maidan Shahr today, lauding the presidential action as a step in the right direction, Janan said.

    Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, said Karzai’s decision had reinforced people’s trust in the government. He called the development a major achievement of the provincial administration.

    Since the governor’s house could no longer tolerate US forces’ high-handedness, it passed relevant information and evidence to the Presidential Palace, Khogyani said.

    myn/mm/mud



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