Panjwai uprising members want schools, clinics
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Members of the public uprising in Panjwai district on Monday asked the government to establish schools, health clinics and initiate reconstruction and job-creating projects in the restive town.
The individuals, who have waged an armed resistance against the Taliban to keep security for their villages, said the government should provide education and health facilities to residents on a priority basis, besides assisting them in areas of employment and agriculture development.
Local officials acknowledge the security situation in the town, 25 km west of Kandahar City, has improved since the movement began two months back, but they cite problems that hinder efforts at initiating development projects.
The uprising initially began in the Zangabad area and later spread to nearby nearly a dozen villages, according to the campaigners.
Abdul Wadood, who spearheads the movement, told Pajhwok Afghan News the uprising members worked day and night and had been able to protect their respective villages and drive Taliban away.
"We launched the resistance after long suffering at the hands of armed insurgents, who used to plant mines in front of our homes and kill our young sons on the charge of links with the government," said Wadood, who's eight sons are part of the campaign.
He claimed the uprising members had so far retrieved hundreds of landmines and detected hundreds others with the help of police.
The uprising members patrolled villages round-the-clock in order to prevent any possible attack from the rebels, he said, adding they had support from local populations who passed on information to them and police about militant hideouts and activities.
Wadood said there were six thousands families supporting the movement that had been previously confined to only four villages.
He recalled Panjwai dwellers had a peaceful life in the past, but when the Taliban emerged, they destroyed every sphere of life and unleashed atrocities on them.
"Several families have lost their members in mine blasts and villagers were killed in the conflict that also destroyed agriculture and livestock," he said.
Heavily armed militants cross the border from Pakistan into Kandahar to launch anti-government activities, but the uprising members have been able to thwart their plots, he said, adding many insurgents were either killed or captured alive.
Wadood complained the government has failed to provide basic facilities of life to the people who stood against its enemies. "Our main objective is to keep areas from falling again to the Taliban," he said.
Panjwai administrative head Haji Fazal Mohammad Ishaqzai admitted the government has failed to provide health and education facilities to residents, praising the uprising members for keeping security for several villages.
He said a school benefitting 200 children was established soon after the uprising began and a 2.5-kilometre road connecting the uprising villages to the district centre constructed.
Residents were provided with food and non-food items time to time in assistance from donor agencies, the official said.
Ishaqzai linked non-execution of mega projects to "tough conditions" set by aid-giving countries, but added some countries had promised initiating big projects in the town.
He promised initiating projects like canals, roads and bridges in order to provide the youth with work opportunities.
Local officials say besides supplying weapons to the uprising members, 35 of them have been recruited to local police force.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.