Provincial council chiefs concerned about their safety
KABUL (PAN): Provincial council heads who met in Kabul on Monday called for a regulatory role of the bodies to be restored, saying they were concerned about lack of resources and terrorist attacks on members.
Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting that was also attended by Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, the provincial council heads said the regulatory authority had been removed in the newly drafted provincial council’s law, leaving them only with a consulting role.
“This perspective will compromise the accountability and efforts at achieving good governance,” a statement issued after the meeting said.
The statement said provincial council members were deeply concerned about their safely due to the increasing terrorist attacks on them, seeking support from the Ministry of Interior and security organs.
They were concerned about a possible end to the cooperation of partner institutions like NDI and UNDP/ASGP after their regulatory role had been removed.
They said those projects were being implemented in close collaboration with provincial councils. “We ask the government to encourage the projects on maintaining cooperation with provincial council. We require the attention of the president Office and the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, to assist us in implementation of IDLG’s reform plan.”
Neglecting the democratic institutions, the gap between the government and the people would undermine the government’s vision of a balanced development across the coutnry, they concluded.
Deputy speakers of both houses of parliament were present at the conference.
Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Mulimyar said they had asked security officials to appear before the upper house on Wednesday to brief lawmakers on problems facing the provincial councils.
Ghazni provincial council chief Azizullah Poya said that so far four council chiefs and six members had been killed in insurgent attacks.
He claimed receiving a letter from the intelligence department, saying his life was in danger.
He said similar letters had been received by members of other provincial councils.
He said despite the threats the Ministry of Interior was planning to deprive them of having bodyguards.
Zabul provincial council deputy head Fuazia Yunusi, who was slightly injured in a suicide attack a week back, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Interior Ministry had called back guards of all council chiefs.
Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesman Najibullah Danish said the ministry’s policy to allow a provincial council chief having three guards remained in place.
He asked provincial council chiefs to introduce the ministry men they had trust in them for a training to keep their security.
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