Reinstate Patang, protestors ask president
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Hundreds of people on Saturday took to the streets in southern Helmand province, asking President Hamid Karzai to reinstate Mujtaba Patang as interior minister in defiance of the Wolesi Jirga decision.
Around 500 people, who took part in the pro-Patang rally, chanted full-throated slogans against lower house members, accusing them of unseating the minister to safeguard their own interests.
One of the demonstrators, Ajmad Dawar, told Pajhwok Afghan News Patang was an experienced and skilled man who had been able to run the ministry without any discrimination against any group or tribe.
He added the Afghans were opposed to any replacements and changes that benefitted of a handful of individuals. Afghanistan needed individuals like Patang and his removal came at a time when foreign troops were preparing to withdraw, he observed.
A Lashkargah resident, Haji Matiullah, said Wolesi Jirga members had started behaving like children and they had been unable to perform their duty in line with the aspirations of their constituents.
The protestors also issued a statement slating the Wolesi Jirga decision on sacking Patang as interior minister. It accused lawmakers of involvement in the destruction of Afghanistan and fueling religious and tribal differences.
The statement warned if their demand was ignored and Patang replaced with someone else, residents of Helmand would launch a protest movement. Pro-Patang rallies have also taken place in Khost, Nangarhar and Kunduz provinces.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.