Unemployment rises after foreigners’ pullout
TIRINKOT (PAN): Residents, particularly educated youth, complain unemployment has risen after the withdrawal of foreign troops from central Uruzgan province.
A large number of people, including men, boys and the elderly, could be seen on a daily basis at the Minar Square in Tirinkot, the provincial capital, looking for daily-wage work.
The labourers daily throng the square, where police often harass and push them to vacate the area. Mohammad Salim, a 24-year-old young man, says they look at each car crossing the square in the hope someone will hire their services.
“All labourers sitting there stare at each passing car. But only few needing labourers come in such vehicles,” he said. Not only illiterate individuals but education people have also been in this dilemma.
Mohammad Ibrahim, an elderly man, said he daily visits the square in search of a job. He claimed many people had been rendered jobless after foreign troops withdrew from Uruzgan.
He would work at a military base of foreign troops, but with their departure, dozens of people have lost their jobs.
Another labourer, Abdul Rauf, complained Pakistani workers had created problems for them. He said Pakistanis served in most offices and construction firms.
Local officials confirm unemployment has increased, blaming it on the poor economic situation of the province. Labour and Social Affairs Director Fazl Rahim told Pajhwok Afghan News the issue had been raised with a number of departments.
About the Pakistani workers, he said they were skilled and able to satisfy their employers. However, he urged companies and organisations to give local workers preference because they had greater rights than foreigners.
A labour leader, Dr. Liaqat Adil, said 40 percent of people nationwide suffered from unemployment. “Neither foreigners nor local traders have invested in basic infrastructure development projects. If they had, the situation would have been different.”
He said 11 million people in Afghanistan were uneducated, but a large number of educated people also remained jobless. Adil urged the international community to initiate basic projects across the country, not only in eastern Nangarhar province.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.